The Dodgers on Friday claimed right-hander Zack Burdi off waivers from the Rays, just before these two teams will play a weekend series at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Burdi was designated for assignment by Tampa Bay on Wednesday, one day after he allowed six runs in one inning of relief against Toronto. Burdi has pitched in three games this season for the Rays, with a combined three scoreless innings in his first two appearances.
He joins a Dodgers team that has cycled through pitchers in a trying week and a half, using 19 different pitchers in the last 10 games. And that doesn’t even include Tayler Scott, who was active for all three games in Atlanta but did not pitch, and was optioned to Triple-A earlier Friday.
One of those 19 pitchers used by the Dodgers in the last week and a half is Tyler Cyr, who was placed on the injured list on Tuesday with a right-shoulder impingement. Cyr on Friday was transferred to the 60-day IL to make room on the 40-man roster for Burdi. For Cyr, that means the earliest he could be activated is July 20.
The 28-year-old Burdi was drafted in the first round in 2016 by the White Sox, six picks ahead of one of his catchers at Louisville for three years, Will Smith. In parts of three seasons in the majors, Burdi has appeared in 18 games for the White Sox, Orioles, and Rays, all in relief. He’s allowed 24 runs (20 earned) on 30 hits in 21⅓ innings, with 23 strikeouts and 10 walks.
He had Tommy John surgery in 2017, and missed over two months to end 2019 after a torn patellar tendon in his right knee.
When or if Burdi might be activated by the Dodgers remains to be seen. He does have an option year remaining, having used options in 2020 and 2021, and he’s already been optioned twice this season by the Rays. He was also designated for assignment twice this year by Tampa Bay, but cleared waivers the first time and stayed around.
He didn’t clear waivers this time, and now it’s the Dodgers’ turn to figure out how to use him. Burdi was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City to start.