A.J. Burnett has made 320 plate appearances in his career. He somehow managed to avoid getting out in 17.3% of those times at the plate. Since leaving the National League in 2005, Burnett has made only 20 plate appearances. He’s collected a single hit from those opportunities.
Now that he’s moving back to the National League to pitch for the Pittsburgh Pirates, he’ll have to step into the batter’s box more regularly. At Pirates’ camp today, he was practicing just that, when a bunt attempt resulted in a foul ball hitting him right in the kisser.
Momentarily dazed, Burnett dropped into a crouch at the plate after the ball struck his face. As he was examined by an athletic trainer, Burnett joked, “Where did the bone go?”
We can laugh primarily because it happened to A.J. Burnett, but also because the injury wasn’t serious.
Of note is Burnett’s 2000 season when, despite his career numbers, he led all pitchers in baseball (with at least 20 plate appearances) with a .376 wOBA. He even hit a home run that year.