Jared Burton served up a pair of homers in his Twins debut on April 7 and allowed a run two appearances later, but since then he’s been unhittable. Literally.
Burton pitched a 1-2-3 inning last night against the Angels, giving him 10.2 consecutive no-hit innings dating back to April 13.
During that time batters are 0-for-32 with 11 strikeouts off him, getting on base only via two walks and two plunkings.
Minnesota’s overall team ERA is ugly because the starters have been abysmal, but the Twins’ bullpen has improved from the AL’s worst last season to the middle of the pack this year and Burton is a big reason why. Not bad for a 30-year-old who was available on a minor-league contract after multiple injury wrecked seasons with the Reds.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Pirates will sign reliever Felipe Rivero to a four-year contract extension that includes two club options. The total value of the deal is believed to be $22 million and each club option is worth $10 million.
Rivero, 26, did not come to an agreement with the Pirates to avoid arbitration in his first year of eligibility ahead of last Friday’s deadline. He requested a $2.9 million salary for the 2018 season while the Pirates countered at $2.4 million. This extension will cover all four years of Rivero’s arbitration eligibility and the two club options can cover his first two years of free agency as well.
Rivero was one of baseball’s best relievers last season, finishing with 21 saves, a 1.67 ERA, and an 88/20 K/BB ratio in 75 1/3 innings. The Pirates acquired him from the Nationals along with minor leaguer Taylor Hearn ahead of the 2016 non-waiver trade deadline in the Mark Melancon deal.
Presumably, Rivero’s extension was in the works before he knew anything about the Andrew McCutchen trade. He made a couple of tweets following this afternoon’s news. In one, he used only the “facepalm” emoji. The other was a .gif of The Office character Jim Halpert yelling, “What is going on?”