PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The addition of AJ Burnett to the Phillies pitching staff changes the complexion of the entire starting rotation. Burnett, as a legitimate number three starter, puts the rest of the rotation in a place where they don’t have to produce more than they’re accustomed to.
Burnett thinks that just might be enough to get the Philles into the playoffs.
“I played in Philly. I know what they expect. I know what the team expect, I know what the city expects. Heck yeah man, I’m ready to be apart of that, to be a part of something special,” Burnett told 94WIP’s Rob Ellis and Rob Charry on Wednesday.
Burnett signed a one year contract, with a mutual option for a second year with the Phillies. He spent the last two seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
“It’s been really easy [to transition]. It’s been good, it’s been fun. You know those guys are great. Scott [Profac] has been a friend of mine before he was even with the Phillies and then me and Roy [Halladay] go way back. I’ll tell you what, all these guys have been really happy, it seems like, that I’m over here,” Burnett said. “I have a lot of history with this club. You know, coming up, a lot of them with the Marlins. Playing against them when they were coming up and you know, I’m just honored to toe that rubber for these guys. You know what they’re about.”
Burnett is a ground ball pitcher, which should benefit him in Citizen’s Bank Park.
“As opposing teams you come in, you try to look where you’re playing and your job is to look at the field,” Burnett said. “I’m more concerned about the mound and I always enjoy throwing off that mound there. Bottom line is, if there is a day where I’m up it doesn’t matter where I play, I’m going to get hit and the ball is going to go a long way. So, being able to keep the ball and being able to just trust that sinker, you know, it just helped me out a lot especially with the defense we have.”