It’s been a long, up-and-down battle back to clean health for Nick Burdi.
In May 2017, the Pirates reliever had Tommy John surgery, then fought back to make his major league debut in September 2018. The next season saw Burdi begin with a clean bill of health, but in April, he suffered a devastating injury while pitching against the Arizona Diamondbacks, one that left the pitcher lying on the PNC Park mound. It was later diagnosed as neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome, bringing Burdi another surgery and forcing him out for the season.
Despite all that, Burdi was back in 2020. In spring training, he was hitting triple digits again, proving his value and jockeying for a spot in the Pirates bullpen come opening day.
Now those plans are on hold, with the 2020 season delayed due to the COVID-19 crisis. While one could forgive him for feeling a bit anxious that the opportunity for a return to the big leagues has been pushed back an unknown amount of time, Burdi understands the bigger picture.