Pirates place A.J. Burnett on the disabled list with elbow inflammation

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Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that the Pirates have placed starter A.J. Burnett on the 15-day disabled list due to inflammation in his right elbow. The club has recalled pitcher Bobby LaFromboise from Triple-A Indiapolis to take Burnett’s spot on the roster.

Burnett, 38, has struggled over his last three starts, allowing 18 earned runs in 16 innings. As a result, his ERA has ballooned from 2.11 to 3.06. The Pirates acquired pitcher J.A. Happ in a trade with the Mariners just ahead of the 4 PM EST trade deadline, so he will take Burnett’s spot in the rotation.

In an unrelated move, the Pirates designated pitcher Deolis Guerra to make room for reliever Joakim Soria — acquired in a trade with the Tigers on Thursday — on the roster.

Justin Verlander named 2019 American League Cy Young Award winner

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Astros starter Justin Verlander was voted by the Baseball Writers Association of America as the 2019 American League Cy Young Award winner. Teammate Gerrit Cole finished in a close second place at 159 points. Charlie Morton finished third at 75 points, Shane Bieber fourth at 64, Lance Lynn fifth at 18, Eduardo Rodríguez and Lucas Giolito sixth at eight, and Mike Minor eighth at seven.

Verlander, 36, won the AL Cy Young Award (and AL MVP Award) in 2011 with the Tigers). He and Cole became the first pair of teammates to finish first and second on the ballot for the AL Cy Young Award. Four NL teammates accomplished the feat: Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling in 2001 and ’02, Don Newcomb and Sal Maglie in 1956, and Mike Marshall and Andy Messersmith in 1974.

During the regular season, Verlander led all starting pitchers in wins (21), games started (34), innings pitched (223), and WHIP (0.803). He also compiled a 2.58 ERA with a 300/42 K/BB ratio. Along with a 300-strikeout season, Verlander achieved other milestones, including reaching 3,000 strikeouts for his career and 200 career postseason strikeouts (an all-time record).

2019 was not without controversy for Verlander, a future Hall of Famer, as he had a well-publicized disagreement with Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press. He tried to have Fenech barred from the clubhouse during media availability despite the collective bargaining agreement ensuring access to BBWAA-credentialed reporters. It was one of many Astros-related scandals in 2019.

Verlander is the first Astro to win the Cy Young Award since Dallas Keuchel in 2015. Roger Clemens (2004) and Mike Scott (1986) also won the award back when the Astros were in the National League.