Burnett to Pittsburgh for exam on injured eye

Burnett to Pittsburgh for exam on injured eye

Burnett to Pittsburgh for exam on injured eye
BRADENTON, Fla. -- A.J. Burnett is bound for Pittsburgh, where he will undergo additional medical examinations Thursday on his injured right eye.

Burnett bunted a ball into his right eye socket Wednesday morning, and had to immediately leave the Pirate City field with a trainer pressing a towel to the impacted area.

"He'll go to Pittsburgh tonight and undergo tests tomorrow," Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said.

Neither Huntington nor manager Clint Hurdle were at Field 5 when Burnett fouled off a pitching-machine offering while participating in the Sweet 16 round of the Pirates' second annual bunting tournament.

The veteran right-hander, acquired from the New York Yankees Feb. 18, was a No. 7 seed in the 64-man bracket, a jovial event to break up the monotony of Spring Training -- until Burnett's mishap, that is.

Burnett had squared around on the second pitch delivered at moderate speed by a pitching machine, and undercut the ball, which ricocheted off his face.

Burnett appeared stunned, and remained squatting while a member of the team's training staff went to his aid. After being tended to for a few minutes in the batting cage, Burnett walked off, accompanied by the trainer.

"This isn't over yet," Burnett called over his shoulder to others participating in the bunting tourney, smiling, although his participation in the day's Spring Training activities appeared done.

Wednesday was not a throw day for Burnett, who on Tuesday had taken his second stint of pitching batting practice.

Burnett came to the Pirates following six seasons in the American League, three each with the Blue Jays and the Yankees, where use of the DH limited his at-bats. However, Burnett did have 20 plate appearances while in the AL, and laid down four sacrifice bunts.

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.