Burawa Getting Close

SCRANTON, PA - It is no secret that the Railriders have one of the best bullpens in all of minor league baseball, but who is the best? So far the answer might be Danny Burawa. Even with Friday night's little meltdown, his first of 2015, he has posted a 1.50 ERA, a 1.08 WHIP ratio, and has held opposing batters to a paltry .157 batting average, and he is getting closer to being big league ready.

"This is year has been pretty good," Burawa said prior to Friday's game. " [It's] the most consistent I’ve ever been in the strike zone. If I’m not in it I am around it all the time. I feel like I’m getting better every time out and learning something new.

The right-handed pitcher has one of the most powerful arms in the pen, constantly throwing 95-97 mph. He also throws a nasty slider which is always a good one-two punch for a reliever. It is also helpful for a reliever to have a third pitch though; but does he have one?

“I have thrown one changeup all year [laughing] and it was hit for a home run, so [I'm] just fastball and slider now.”

The fastball-slider combo is good enough though. This year’s success at Triple-A didn’t come easy for Burawa. He had a chance last year in Scranton but it did not go particularly well. In 42 innings he had an ERA of 5.95 and a WHIP of 2.75; so what’s been the difference this season?

"Just know what to expect, being a little hungrier and wanting to succeed," he said. "If I have a bad outing I keep it at one bad outing. Last year it use snowball into three or four bad ones. I didn’t like the way I pitched last year so I corrected it.”

What did he correct?

"Careless walks, throwing eight balls in a row before making an adjustment. Now if I’m down in the count I believe I can get back into [my mechanics]. Last year I wasn’t so good at that.”

He ironically experienced that kind of meltdown on Friday when he walked four batters in 1.1 innings against Durham so even though he had gone through a 16-appearance stretch of allowing one walk or less, Friday's control relapse shows there is still room for improvement.

“Consistency with my slider," Burawa admitted. "I think my fastball has been good. My slider has been good [too] but I’ve been doing different things with it and I want to get better at doing that.”

Buwara has improved in almost every category this year. Catcher Eddy Rodriguez has caught Burawa a lot this season and has nothing but good things to say about the start of Burawa’s season.

"He’s having a very good season," Rodriguez said. "His stuff has been as good as it can be. He’s throwing 95-97 with sink and has a devastating slider.”

Just like everyone else, Rodriguez believes Burawa is very close to being big league ready but just needs a little more fine-tuning as Friday's little blowup has proven.

"Just consistency; at this level a majority of the guys are good enough, it’s just being consistent. If he keeps going out there and putting on good outings they're going to come knocking pretty soon.”

Pinstripes Plus Top Stories