Coming in to the 2012 season, it seemed like Alex Burnett had no shot of making the roster. A 6.97 ERA and over two baserunners per inning was not indicative of a pitcher worthy of a place in any team’s bullpen, but due to the injuries to Joel Zumaya, Scott Baker, Kyle Waldrop, and Jason Marquis’ daughter, Burnett found himself in the exact same place as he had been the past two years: on the Twins’ Opening Day roster.
Now, you can’t take away very much from spring training statistics, but Burnett hadn’t done much in the past two seasons that showed anything different. A career 5.40 ERA in nearly 100 innings coming into this year, with nearly 1 1/2 baserunners per inning was suggesting that Burnett was simply overmatched against major league hitters. Considering his track record in the minors upon becoming a reliever, this was very disappointing to see.