BOZICH | As McKay arrives, former Louisville stars Burdi, Rogers exit
As former Louisville baseball star Brendan McKay begins his professional career, a pair of former Cards -- Zack Burdi and Josh Rogers -- have been shut down by injury.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — The baseball season is expected to resume for Brendan McKay this weekend. It has ended for Zack Burdi, his brother, Nick, and Josh Rogers.
And the game goes on for other former University of Louisville players, including the group that moved from the college game to the professional game last month.
McKay, the Cardinals’ consensus 2017 national college player of the year, is expected to make his debut with the Hudson Valley Renegades Sunday, according to John Furmaniak, one of McKay's representatives.
Look for McKay to play first base, serve as a designated hitter and pitch every fifth day, although his name was not listed on the team’s roster Saturday morning.
After throwing 107 innings at U of L, McKay will be limited to 30 innings or less in his first pro season. The Tampa Bay Rays signed McKay to a record bonus of $7,007,500 after selecting him with the fourth pick in the MLB Free Agent Draft last month.
He will pitch and hit for as long as the plan works.
But even when organizations and players are conservative and protective of players, issues arise. Ask the Burdi brothers and Rogers.
On Friday the Chicago White Sox announced that Burdi was likely to miss the rest of this season as well as 2018 because of an injury to the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. Burdi will be examined by a second doctor before his Tommy John surgery is scheduled.
Burdi left the game with pain in his right arm last weekend in Louisville as he pitched for the Charlotte Knights, the White Sox Triple A farm club. The Sox drafted Burdi in the first round last season and have rarely used him in consecutive games as a pro. He threw 33 1/3 innings in 29 games for the Knights, striking out 51.
“You look on a prospect list and you see a lot of things,” White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said in an interview at CSNChicago television. “But they’re individuals.
“They have aspirations and timelines they have set for themselves. When they get derailed from that timeline because of performance or injuries, your heart goes out.”
Burdi followed his older brother, Nick as the Cards’ closer — and Nick Burdi had Tommy John surgery May 26. He pitches in the Minnesota Twins’ farm system.
Rogers, another former U of L pitcher, was also shut down for the 2017 season this week. Rogers, a product of New Albany High School, will have surgery to remove a bone spur in his left elbow. He will not have Tommy John surgery and is expected to return to the New York Yankees’ farm system next season.
The Yankees promoted Rogers’ to their Class AA team in the Eastern League last month. He won four of seven starts.
How are other members of the Cards’ 2017 College World Series team performing?
Third baseman Drew Ellis has generated a slash line of .304/.396/.552 for the Diamondbacks short-season Class A affiliate in Hillsboro, Oregon. Ellis has four doubles and two home runs in 46 at bats.
Center fielder Logan Taylor has hit safely in all three games with a double, triple and home run for the White Sox rookie league team in Glendale, Ariz.
Pitchers Lincoln Henzman and Kade McClure are training at the White Sox spring training facility in Glendale and expected to be assigned to teams soon.
Catcher Colby Fitch has four hits in his first nine at-bats for the Williamsport (Pa.) Crosscutters in the New York Penn League. Williamsport is not scheduled to play Hudson Valley so Fitch will not face McKay this season.
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