By Gary Lloyd
On a Melbourne Aces team that has struggled to find consistent starting pitching in the 2013 Australian Baseball League season, Pinson native Joe Burns has emerged as the club’s most pleasant surprise, according to MLB.com.
A 28th-round pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft by the Texas Rangers, Burns headed to Australia in October expecting to do what he’s done on the diamond each of the past four years — pitch out of the bullpen. Within a week of arriving, however, he learned that that he was in for something a little different.
“It was definitely a surprise when I got over here,” Burns said. “I thought I was going to be a reliever, but there were a couple of local guys that were going to need a little longer rest-wise, so they needed a guy to fill in early on. I told them I would try. I said I couldn’t promise them anything because I’ve been in the ‘pen the last four years or so, but I said I’d try to extend it out as quick as I could.”
As of Nov. 27, Burns, a left-hander, had posted a 1-0 record and a 2.95 earned run average. He ranks second in the ABL with 18 strikeouts and has walked just three in 18 1/3 innings. Over his past two outings, he has allowed three runs in 13 innings with 14 strikeouts and just one walk.
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