PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates starters who are here are pitching well, and those who are not are getting well. Charlie Morton is set to make possibly his one-and-only rehab start Monday night and A.J. Burnett, who will make another rehab start with Bradenton on Wednesday, could be pitching for the Bucs "before the end of the month," according to Pittsburgh general manager Neal Huntington. "We want to keep him in the warm weather and get him to 100 pitches," Huntington said of Burnett, who made 68 of them in an extended rehab start for the Marauders on Friday.
Burnett was only scheduled to throw four innings in that game against the St. Lucie Mets, but he returned to the mound in the fifth for two more outs because of a low pitch count. "It was great that he was able to get out there for one more [inning]. Next time, he'll stretch out a little more, and we'll reassess where he is," Huntington said. Burnett is catching up with the rest of the staff after having his Spring Training delayed by facial surgery on March 2. Her suffered a fractured right-eye orbital bone during a bunting competition on Feb. 29 -- 10 days after completion of his trade acquisition from the Yankees. Morton is on track to beat Burnett back. He will start for Triple-A Indianapolis in Columbus, the last prelude to merging with the rotation to start this weekend in San Francisco.