Hey, did you know the Reds have two Rule 5 guys in camp? Everyone knows about Josh Hamilton, who is doing fine thus far. But reliever Jared Burton is also plugging away:
Burton is a 25-year-old right-hander with a power arm suited for a late-inning role in the bullpen. The Reds drafted him from the Oakland Athletics.
Burton has been kept somewhat under wraps so far in camp, other than a scoreless inning he pitched in the “B” game Sunday. That will end tonight. He is scheduled to pitch against the New York Yankees in Tampa.
His stuff got noticed early in camp with the Reds.
“He has really good stuff,” catcher David Ross said. “He throws hard. His slider must be 90 (mph).”
Ideally, the Reds would give him a year at Triple-A to develop.
But the Reds don’t have that luxury. As a Rule 5 player, he must be kept on the 25-man roster all year or be offered back to the A’s for $25,000, half of what the Reds paid to take him.
I’m not sure how Burton fits in with this bullpen, but perhaps GM Wayne Krivsky is confident that he can work out a trade to keep him. Krivsky certainly has a high opinion of the young flamethrower, actually invoking the name “Johan Santana” when discussing Burton.
Yeah, you read that right.