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A.J. Burnett Successful In Rehab Start In Bradenton

After suffering an eye injury during a bunting drill in Spring Training, the Pirates said that new starting pitcher A.J. Burnett would be out eight to 12 weeks. It's only been about a month since then, though, and Burnett looks like he's already on the verge of coming back. He made a rehab start for the Class A+ Bradenton Marauders Friday evening, and he had no trouble, striking out five and walking one over 4.2 innings, while allowing one run.

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Burnett and Charlie Morton, who are both on the disabled list, could potentially return to the Pirates' rotation in mid-April, likely bumping Kevin Correia out of the rotation. If the Pirates have any success this year, Burnett will likely be an important part of it, since he'll hopefully be able to pitch 150 to 180 innings that someone like Correia won't get to pitch.

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Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.