Thursday, April 06, 2006

A.J. Burnett Effective in 'Rehab' Start

Toronto hurler A.J. Burnett, on the DL retroactively since March 24 and eligible to come off April 8, threw approximately 60 pitches for single A Dunedin, Fla., Thursday night and struck out two, walked two and hit a batter. Burnett, who recently sustained broken scar tissue in his throwing arm associated with Tommy John surgery two years ago, reported he was feeling strong, had an effective curve and changeup, and was optimistic about his return to the big club. Coaches, however, are not expected to rush him back into action as long as the team has alternatives, although nothing has been ruled out. Burnett, who was 12-12 with a 3.44 ERA last year for Florida, signed a five-year $55 million contract with the Blue Jays to plug the No. 2 spot in the rotation behind Roy Halladay.