After A.J. Burnett was roughed up Sunday by the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates in his last spring start, the Yankees coaching staff was looking for answers.
Fans, players, and Yankee employees were seeking a catalyst to explain such a glaring deviance from an otherwise dominant spring.
On Wednesday night, an MRI result has unfortunately brought the Burnett picture into focus.
After surrendering 10 hits and 7 runs (6 earned) in just 4 1/3 innings, Burnett’s ego was not the only thing left in need of a repair.
Burnett has been diagnosed with a torn ligament in his pitching elbow.
The injury requires immediate surgery, and shatters the hopes of an otherwise promising 2009 campaign.
Burnett has already been a victim of Tommy John surgery in past years, and has earned the reputation as a frail pitcher.
He has his orthopedic surgeon’s phone number programmed on his speed dial.
This news sends a shockwave through the Yankee Universe, and essentially throws $16 million down the drain from the team’s 2009 payroll.
Phil Hughes will undoubtedly be called upon to stop the bleeding, but what can really be expected from the young replacement?
Burnett has left the Yankees in a very difficult spot, and could result in a trade in the coming weeks.
The absences of Alex Rodriguez and Burnett could cripple New York’s playoff dreams, as they are now sure to get off to a slow start.
A setback of this magnitude leaves me virtually speechless.
All I can say now is…APRIL FOOLS!!
I’m very sorry everyone who actually read this far without knowing my intentions of a hoax.
I simply could not resist.