BRADENTON, Fla. -- A.J. Burnett, whose first career Opening Day assignment took a fouled bunt to the eye a year ago, is getting his mulligan.
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle formally named Burnett his Opening Day starter on Wednesday -- nine days before the anniversary of the bunting mishap that fractured the pitcher's orbital bone and delayed his Pittsburgh debut until April 21.
Burnett will take the PNC Park mound on April 1 to face the Cubs. Following that Monday opener and an off-day, left-hander Wandy Rodriguez will start on April 3.
Hurdle did not identify his rotation beyond that, although James McDonald is viewed as the third definite member of the evolving quintet.