Ever since the Milwaukee Brewers defeated ace Corbin Burnes in their arbitration hearing – they will pay him $10.01 million this season instead of the $10.75 million for which the pitcher filed – the relationship between player and team has been damaged.
The player himself confirmed as much.
While not necessarily related, the right-hander has had a nightmarish start of the season.
He has made two starts and has a horrible 9.64 ERA in 9.1 frames.
Fans are, understandably, worried about their ace’s performance.
Always with top-end control and command, Burnes has five walks and just six strikeouts so far.
Baseball Prospectus specialist Jesse Roche highlighted some of Burnes’ problems.
“Corbin Burnes is OFF to start the season. His velocity remains down almost across the board. He isn’t missing bats. It is early, of course, but not a good look…” he tweeted.
Corbin Burnes is OFF to start the season. His velocity remains down almost across the board. He isn't missing bats. It is early, of course, but not a good look… pic.twitter.com/3keEiqnu0V
— Jesse Roche (@jaroche6) April 5, 2023
He is throwing his trademark cutter, the pitch he uses the most, 1.5 mph slower than last season on average.
He only has five swings and misses on 93 pitches, much lower than his usual rate.
Burnes broke out in 2020 with a 2.11 ERA, and then won the NL Cy Young a year later with a 2.43 ERA and 234 strikeouts.
He was also excellent last year with a 2.94 ERA.
It’s certainly odd to see him struggle so much to open the year, but it’s still early.
Two starts aren’t enough to overshadow three years of complete dominance.
He should eventually be able to straighten things out, provided there isn’t an injury we don’t know about.
A talented pitcher like Burnes doesn’t suddenly loses his talent overnight, so he should be fine in no time.NEXT: The Brewers Are Already Looking Like A Force In The NL