Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Contemplating Jared Burton

Jared Burton faced
the heart of the
Red Sox order and
got the job done.
The Twins have already dismissed several of the hard-throwers they brought in to compete for bullpen jobs.

Prominent among those remaining in camp is Jared Burton, who had some success with Cincinnati before arm problems and other ailments befell him. He's in camp as a non-roster invitee, and doing well.

The Monday print column was about the extreme need for context when looking at spring training stats, and so my ears perked up Monday afternoon when Burton came in.

Nobody out, Jacoby Ellsbury on first, and Dustin Pedroia, Adrian Gonzalez and Kevin Youkilis coming up. That's some serious lumber.

Burton navigated it successfully, if not in quite the manner one might expect or even hope for. Pedroia hit a liner that Burton deflected; Alexi Casilla and Jamey Carroll turned it into a force out at second. Gonzalez popped out to center. Youkilis walked. David Ortiz -- more serious lumber -- then struck out.

Burton had more trouble with the two righties he faced than the two lefties. Considering that the Twins are in specific need of somebody they can use to target right-handed hitters, that's not ideal. But getting three outs from those four isn't shabby.

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