July 21, 2004

Florida vs. Philadelphia preview

The Main Event
Pat Burrell needs to turn it around in a big way tonight against Florida. He’s batting .120 in over the last 7 games, slugging a horrid .120.

In the opposite corner, he’ll face pitcher A.J. Burnett, who needs a good outing as much as Burrell. Burnett, the hardest throwing of Florida’s crop of young overthowers, missed most of the season with elbow ligament replacement surgery.

Burrell is 5-18 against him (.278), with 1 HR and 3 Ks.


Hard-throwing Marlin A.J. Burnett opens the series tonight against the Phils.

Generation A.J.
Burnett is the posterboy for the crash-and-burn generation of hard-throwing pitchers who've struggled with injuries or velocity issues this season. Stablemates Josh Beckett, on the DL for the third time this season, twice with blisters, and Brad Penny, a hard-thrower with control issues, are also in that bracket.

Trade rumors
The Phillies are reportedly interested in LHP Ron Villone from Seattle. Villone has a great ERA this season (3.13) and may drive a hard bargin. Expect Seattle to ask for infield prospects.

Paul Abbott
Fellow BPF writer Will Travel says Paul Abbott is the kind of pitcher the Braves could make into a 12-game winner.

Benson
The Pirates reportedly asked for Chase Utley in a deal for Kris Benson (from Jason Stark at espn.com).

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