The Tampa Bay Rays claimed right-handed pitcher Cory Burns off waivers from the Texas Rangers on Monday, reports Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors.
Burns, 26, spent parts of the previous two seasons on big league rosters, but has only pitched for the Rangers’ Triple-A affiliate in Round Rock this year. He’s been a borderline disaster, posting a 7.44 ERA over 20 appearances (including one start), but is only a year removed from looking far more effective on the mound.
During the 2012-13 seasons, Burns spent time with both the Rangers and San Diego Padres, making 27 appearances out of the bullpen. The right-hander has some mixed results, going for a 4.60 ERA with 23 strike0uts and 17 walks over 29.1 innings of action.
Burns also spent significant time with Round Rock in 2013, and looked much better than he has this year. Over 38 relief appearances in Triple-A last season, Burns posted a 2.15 ERA with 48 strikeouts and 15 walks in 37.2 innings.
Prior to his struggles this season, Burns had typically pitched quite well in the minors, never posting an ERA above 3.14 while progressing from Low Single-A through the organization. Even with the struggles this year, his minor league career ERA sits at 2.92.
It’s unclear what the Rays plan to do with Burns going forward, but it’s likely he’ll be sent to the team’s Triple-A affiliate in Durham while providing some possible depth for the big league roster. For Tampa Bay, it’s simply a cheap flier on a pitcher who dominated Triple-A hitters not too long ago, and could potentially fill some serviceable innings at the MLB level in the future.