A.J. Burnett will make his Pirates’ debut a bit earlier than originally expected.
Kevin Correia was scratched from tonight’s start due to discomfort in his left side, so the Pirates have activated Burnett and will have him make the start instead. Burnett, who underwent surgery in early March to repair an orbital fracture of his right eye, was originally scheduled to make a rehab start with Double-A Altoona tonight.
The important part is that Burnett is back to full health, but he was knocked around for 11 runs on 14 hits in 10 1/3 innings (9.58 ERA) over three rehab outings with High-A Bradenton and Triple-A Indianapolis. He’ll have a tough first test tonight, facing a Cardinals’ team which is third in the majors with 77 runs scored.
Free agent left-hander Wade Miley is among several offseason targets for the Twins, according to a report from Darren Wolfson of KSTP. Miley’s $12 million option was declined by the Orioles back in November, and while he’s expected to attract another major league deal in 2018, he hasn’t exactly been highly sought after this offseason.
The 31-year-old lefty finished his second campaign with the Orioles in 2017, producing an 8-15 record in 32 starts and ranking second-to-last among all AL starters with a 5.61 ERA, 5.3 BB/9 and 8.1 SO/9 in 157 1/3 innings. Even taking Miley’s undeniable durability into account — he remained healthy for the bulk of the season and completed his sixth straight year with 30+ starts — his declining value and career-worst numbers may lower his price tag as the 2018 season approaches.
Wolfson notes that the Twins have engaged in “regular dialogue” with Miley’s agent this winter, but he’s far from the only starting pitcher they have their eye on. Right-handers Yu Darvish, Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb and Chris Tillman are still on their radar, among several others, and club owner Jim Pohlad said Saturday that he was “totally on board” with the idea of signing a big-name free agent like Darvish or another available starter. “There are some interesting names and some interesting opportunities there,” Pohlad told a crowd at TwinsFest. “I’m as intrigued by it as anybody and attracted to it as anybody.”