Tampa Bay Rays Place Former 1st-Round Pick Pitcher On Waivers

The Tampa Bay Rays have designated right-handed pitcher Zack Burdi for assignment in a roster move to make space for newly acquired right-hander Chase Anderson.

The league-leading Rays also lost star closer Pete Fairbanks to the 15-day IL as well.

The decision came after Burdi had pitched in two games for the Rays without giving up any runs and striking out three. He had been optioned back to the Triple-A Durham team.

He was the Chicago White Sox's first-round pick (26th overall) in the 2016 MLB Draft.

Burdi's fastball velocity has reportedly decreased to the range of 92-95 mph this season, which is lower than the high-90s he had been capable of as a highly touted prospect.

However, it's not uncommon for a pitcher's velocity to decrease over time, especially if they've had a history of injury or workload. It remains to be seen if another team will claim Burdi off waivers, but if not, he will remain with the Durham team.

Over his three-year career, Burdi has only pitched 20 innings in the majors. For his minor-league career, the 28-year-old has compiled a 4.62 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, with 203 strikeouts across 150 innings and 125 appearances.

Overall, the Rays' decision to designate Burdi for assignment appears to be more of a roster management move rather than a performance-based decision. Photo Credit:  Dave Nelson-USA TODAY Sports