TORONTO -- A.J. Burnett's flight to Florida for his first Minor League rehab start was cancelled at the last minute, but not because of any more setbacks.
Tropical Storm Alberto, which is currently off the Gulf Coast of Florida, has been pounding the state with rain and Class A Dunedin's game on Monday could be postponed as a result. Burnett, who is on the 60-day disabled list with a right elbow injury, will pitch at Triple-A Syracuse on Monday instead.
"There's been a change," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "Down in Florida, I guess they said a hurricane might be coming. There's a bunch of rain. So he'll end up starting at Syracuse."
Gibbons said that Burnett will be limited to 70-80 pitches in the rehab start, which will be the pitcher's first time throwing in a game since April 21. During that outing, Burnett suffered a sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament and strained scar tissue in his elbow -- the same problem that landed him on the 15-day DL to begin the year.
If Burnett pitches without any lingering issues on Monday, Toronto will have him pitch in a second rehab start on Saturday. The right-hander will then be eligible to come off the DL and make his next start for the Jays in Atlanta on June 22.
"Hopefully he's on track for the 22nd and he'll give us a shot in the arm," Gibbons said.
"Trying to hit him was like trying to drink coffee with a fork." - Willie Stargell on Sandy Koufax