PITTSBURGH -- A.J. Burnett threw a bullpen session Thursday morning and could be ready to start Sunday against the Cubs. He has been on the disabled list since June 14 with a Grade 1 tear in his right calf.
If Burnett isn't quite ready, the Pirates will turn to Jeanmar Gomez, according to manager Clint Hurdle.
Gomez started the year as a long reliever before taking Jonathan Sanchez's spot in the rotation when he was released. Gomez injured his forearm on June 2 and spent three weeks on the DL, but was steady in six starts prior to that. He allowed just seven earned runs and 19 hits over 29 1/3 innings.
Gomez pitched a scoreless seventh inning Wednesday night, allowing just a broken-bat single. He said on Thursday that he felt good and would be ready to go if the Pirates needed him. If not, he'll likely stay in the bullpen. Overall, he's 2-0 with a 2.70 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in 14 games this season.
Steven Petrella is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less