Who Is Nick Burdi? Yankees’ Flamethrower With Unique Injury History

Published 02/24/2024, 12:22 AM EST

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Nick Burdi isn’t a new name in Major League Baseball, but he’s turning heads at the New York Yankees’ Spring Training camp this year. The hard-throwing righty, known for his high-velocity fastballs, has always possessed big-league potential.

However, his career trajectory has been significantly derailed by multiple severe injuries. This spring, Burdi returns healthy with a new pitching style and the determination to finally make his mark on the mound.

Insiders like Andy Martino are excited to watch his rejuvenated 2024 form, saying, “Burdi was generating buzz since the moment Yankees camp opened. Team officials blown away by his stuff”. Reporter Gary Phillips states in a recent Twitter (now X) post, “Aaron Boone was asked about Nick Burdi. He shook his head & laughed/smirked before adding, ‘You talk about stuff. I mean, that’s great stuff.’” This youngster has the Yankees talking, and for good reasons.


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Nick Burdi’s backstory is as compelling as his pitches. A former footballer with a powerful arm, his natural ability to throw hard caught the attention of baseball coaches early on. Despite a late start in baseball, he was quickly touching 95 mph by his sophomore year in high school. “I attribute a lot of that to playing quarterback,” Burdi told The Daily News.

His raw talent attracted scouts, but it has come with a hefty price. The pitcher has endured two Tommy John surgeries, thoracic outlet surgery, an ulnar nerve transposition, and even an appendectomy. This string of serious setbacks has limited him to just 19 big-league appearances since 2018. Yet, hope springs eternal.

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The Bombers’ pitching coach, Matt Blake himself, is cautiously optimistic this year, saying, “He’s had tantalizing stuff. He’s just had a hard time staying on the field. If we can unlock something there with some arm health and kind of just keeping him on the field, that’s as good an arm as there is out there.” Is there any semblance of proof for his faith in Burdi?

The Future Is Here and Now for Nick Burdi

The secret to this potential revival may lie in a dramatic change Burdi implemented over the offseason. He’s dropped his arm slot significantly, now pitching from a near-sidearm angle. “Finally, this offseason, I was like, ‘You know what? I’m just gonna go for it, see what happens,’” recalls Burdi in his Daily News interview. The results were eye-opening.


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Nick Burdi is still hitting triple digits on the radar gun, but now with enhanced secondary pitches and better recovery. Reporters like Chris Kirschner of The Athletic are taking note of his on-field flame throwing: “Nick Burdi strikes out Anthony Volpe. Burdi is a name to watch.”


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His unique, deceptive delivery at a speed of 98–100 mph with never-before-seen angles is a major asset to the team, making it particularly difficult for right-handed hitters to pick up his pitches as they approach the plate.


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Burdi’s ultimate goal is a spot in the New York Yankees’ stacked bullpen, and he faces stiff competition. But his newfound health and refined approach are providing hope, not just for himself but for others who may face similar obstacles, and his vision stands proof: “Someone else down the line is gonna go through this. Hopefully, they can see my story and have that motivation to keep their dreams going.”


Written by:

Shrabana Sengupta


One take at a time

"Those who gaze outward dream, but those who turn inward awaken." A pro-writer for MLB EssentiallySports, I’ve been a fan of the New York Yankees since my school days. In my adolescent years, I was introduced to the iconic franchise through one of my beloved Friends characters, Joey.
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Edited by:

Tushhita Barua