Burnett Nails It
DUNEDIN, Fla. — After his first outing of the spring, A.J. Burnett said "it’ll be a long time" before he starts working in his curveball. Turns out there’s a little more to that than the usual "we’re building him up first" company line.
Pitching coach Brad Arnsberg said that Burnett, shortly before spring began, smashed his right hand in his car door and broke the nail on his index finger. Always something, huh. Anyway, Burnett digs that nail into the seam of the baseball when throwing his curve.
Arnsberg said it’ll be at least 10-14 days before Burnett can start throwing the breaking ball. He even said Burnett’s visited a nail specialist — a manicurist, actually, not a doctor — to see if there was anything he could do. Sans fake nail or real nail, Burnett is limited to throwing fastballs and changeups for now.
On Sunday, Burnett was a tad frustrated after his two-inning outing, in which he gave up two runs on three hits with no strikeouts and one walk. Burnett threw 35 pitches (21 for strikes), and needed 24 tosses to get out of the second inning.