Philadelphia Phillies 2014 Prediction: A.J. Burnett

By John Rader
A.J. Burnett Phillies
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

A.J. Burnett has collected at least 10 wins during each of the past nine seasons, but also recorded double digit losses six of those seasons; his ERA has varied from 3.30 to 5.26. When he takes the mound it might be a roller coaster ride, but he will be a welcomed addition to the Philadelphia Phillies; starting rotation.

With Cole Hamels‘ out to start the season, Burnett will find himself as the No. 2 in the Phillies’ rotation. The 37 year old hopes his streak of recent success can continue with his new team in the same state.

Over the last two seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Burnett compiled a 26-20 record, 3.41 era (including a career best 3.30 last season), 393.1 innings, 389 strikeouts and 129 walks.

Prior to Burnett’s revival with the Pirates, he struggled with the New York Yankees in back-to-back seasons with ERA’s more than 5.00. The last time he had an ERA below 4.00, other than with the Pirates, was in 2007 with the Toronto Blue Jays. Playing in the hitter friendly Yankee Stadium definitely played into his high ERA.

During his three seasons with the Yankees, he saw opponents hit 81 home runs but only allowed 29 over two seasons in Pittsburgh. Citizens Bank Park is not the biggest field either, so you have to expect his numbers in Philadelphia will rise.

Best case prediction: Burnett pitches 200 innings, records a 3.65 ERA, 195 strikeouts, 55 walks, 16 home runs against and a 16-10 record.

Worst case prediction: Burnett pitches 130 innings, records a 5.45 ERA, 100 strikeouts, 90 walks, 27 home runs and 6-15 record.

Realistic prediction: Burnett pitches 188 innings, records 4.02 ERA, 175 strikeouts, 70 walks, 22 home runs and 10-10 record.

The Phillies would love for Burnett to continue his second wind career in Philadelphia. The vast majority of his starts turn into decisions that a reflected on his record. His starts will be exciting, hopefully in the Phillies’ favor.

John Rader covers the Phillies for Follow him on Twitter @jcrader, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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