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A.J. Burnett diagnosed with orbital fracture, needs surgery

Mar 1, 2012, 12:19 PM EDT

a.j. burnett pirates

A.J. Burnett may want to skip bunting practice for a while.

Yesterday the Pirates’ newest pitcher fouled a ball off his face while trying to lay a bunt down and the team just announced that he’s been diagnosed with an orbital fracture around his right eye.


Burnett, who immediately left Pirates camp and traveled to Pittsburgh to be examined by doctors, is scheduled for surgery tomorrow. There’s no word yet on how much time he’s expected to miss.

  1. yankeesfanlen - Mar 1, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    Can’t think of a thing not snarky. Get well A.J.

  2. cur68 - Mar 1, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    AJ needs some good luck. His Mojo hasn’t been the same since he left the Blue Jays. Get well soon, man.

    • deathmonkey41 - Mar 1, 2012 at 1:20 PM

      You mean other than the World Series victory?

      • Louie Schuth - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:14 PM

        And the paycheck.

      • cur68 - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:35 PM

        Well boys, I’m sympathetic to what you say, but its not like AJ is a bad guy, or problem player, or some sort of egomaniac, eh? He seems like a good enough guy. I don’t like the thought of him bustin’ the bones in his face when there are so many others who could do with a ding to the ear hole way ahead of AJ.

  3. stex52 - Mar 1, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    Bummer. Sorry to see that. Hope it is a quick recovery.

  4. - Mar 1, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    I’ve had this surgery. It is out-patient surgery. And is as painful as it sounds…especially anytime the weather changes or you get a cold. Especially when you get a cold.

  5. nategearhart - Mar 1, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    This incident is not an argument against pitchers hitting. This is, however, a powerful argument against frivolous bunting. DOWN WITH THE BUNT!

  6. yankeesgameday - Mar 1, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    Gosh. I feel awful for the guy.

  7. stabonerichard - Mar 1, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    In parts of 10 seasons in the minors, AJ Burnett got a total of 18 plate appearances. And that’s not at all uncommon. Check out your favorite team’s starting rotation and see if they got 100 plate appearances in the minors combined. Pitchers simply aren’t developed to hit at the professional level and, by basic definition, are not professional hitters.

    Yet once these guys reach the majors, they’re expected to hit. In the NL, anyway. And some interleague games.

    I’m not terribly bothered by the difference in rules between leagues; it’s more of an annoyance. Each league has its gimmick – the AL has a guy on the lineup card who doesn’t need to bring a glove to the ballpark, while the NL puts a guy on the lineup card who isn’t a professional hitter. This stark difference creates different styles/strategy, which makes things interesting, along with the conversation/debate it sparks.

    But back to AJ, to me this is just the latest example of how silly it is to stick a bat in pitchers’ hands & have them dicking around in the batter’s box. Whether it’s injuries in the box (including a guy like Chris Carpenter chastising an opposing pitcher for coming inside on him), injuries on the basepaths, or just the fact it’s a catalyst for giving away outs, I just find it a little absurd.

    We don’t expect position players to pitch, but pitchers are supposed to hit. Cuz it’s tradition. And pure. And stuff.

    • El Bravo - Mar 1, 2012 at 1:31 PM

      All of this is right…but I….just…can’t …..change….pitchers hitting is like breathing man. Without them hitting we cannot survive!!!

  8. stabonerichard - Mar 1, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    I realize the Carp reference in my comment above was a bit random… so here’s some more context.

    After being hit by a pitch from Edwin Jackson (when he was with the Dbacks), Carpenter had this to say:

    “I watched the replay,” Carpenter said. “The catcher is setting his glove up high. They’re trying to throw the ball up there, and there’s no need for it. I hit .100. It’s not like I can hit. Throw the ball down and away, throw a slider, whatever it is.”

    So yeah… I’m a pitcher, don’t pitch me the way you would a real hitter.

    Such a beautifully pure aspect of the professional game.

    • cur68 - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:43 PM

      I like your logic, boner. However, I like the idea of pitcher’s hitting. Its amusing to me like watching a baby become a toddler. Sure there are accidents. Occasionally you gotta take the lil tyke for stitches. End of the day, that bandy legged, stiff arm waiving shuffle they do is totally worth it along with the pride and joy on their chubby little faces when they make it to their goal. Also, watching a pitcher try and hit gives me a chance to work out the deep seated envy I have for all gifted athletes: I inevitably think “guess ya can’t do everything well, eh jockstrap?”

      • stabonerichard - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:50 PM

        Sure, there are some interesting elements to it, but the part where the baby/toddler shits itself is where I get hung up… which is sorta like what pitchers do in the batter’s box.

  9. unclearnie - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    Headline should read: Anti-West Coast karma hits pitcher in the eye.” Blame your wife AJ. You could have been in the Angels camp in Arizona where Big Mike tells his pitchers that he will fine them if they swing at a pitch.

    • jimbo1949 - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:53 PM

      Yeah, because if the Angels were playing in a NL park with: noscore, third inning, a man on, no outs…. Scioscia would definitely have his pitcher take 3 strikes looking.

  10. phillyfrank - Mar 1, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    Ouch. Talk about keeping your eye on the ball…

  11. mattymatty - Mar 1, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    The most surprising aspect to this whole story is that there are doctors in Pittsburgh.

  12. foreverchipper10 - Mar 1, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    Really? No comments about how the newest Pirate needs to be fitted for an eye patch? Too easy.

  13. dirtyharry1971 - Mar 2, 2012 at 12:27 AM

    If selig wanted to do something good for the sport he would force the NL to use the DH so sillyness like this would stop happening

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