A.J. Burnett has been pitching just fine since inguinal hernia diagnosis

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A few days after his April 11 start against the Marlins in which he couldn’t get through the fifth inning, Phillies starter A.J. Burnett was diagnosed with an inguinal hernia. He said he would pitch through the rest of the season with it rather than undergo surgery.

So far, so good. Burnett picked up his first win of the season with eight shutout innings against the Diamondbacks on Sunday afternoon, giving him three consecutive quality outings since his diagnosis:

  • April 17 vs. Braves: 7 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 5 K (no-decision win)
  • April 22 at Dodgers: 6 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 5 K (no-decision win)
  • April 27 at Diamondbacks: 8 IP, 0 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 8 K (win)
  • Total: 21 2/3 IP, 2 ER (0.83 ERA), 14 H, 3 BB, 18 K

Thus begins the trend of pitchers intentionally giving themselves inguinal hernias in order to pitch better.

Diamondbacks sign Kris Medlen and Antonio Bastardo to minor-league deals

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Arizona Diamondbacks have signed pitchers Kris Medlen and Antonio Bastardo to minor-league deals. Medlen will make $1.1 million if he breaks camp with the Snakes. Bastardo will earn at $1.5 million if he makes the team.

Medlen hasn’t pitched in the bigs since 2016 and hasn’t pitched effectively in the bigs since 2013 due to multiple Tommy John surgeries and, more recently, shoulder ailments. Last year he put up a 4.95 ERA in 20 games in the Braves’ minor league system. If he’s healthy he could be a depth guy for the Dbacks in the event one of their big league starters go down.

Bastardo pitched in nine games, ineffectively, for the Pirates before being released last season. He didn’t catch on anywhere else after that so, hey, I guess he’s fresh?