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Pitcher Beau Burrows brings major league experience to Reading Fightin Phils

Apr. 3—Nearly three years removed from his last appearance in the major leagues, Reading pitcher Beau Burrows is eager for his new opportunity with the Fightin Phils.

"I'm super excited," Burrows said at the team's media day on Tuesday. "I'm grateful for the opportunity. I'm very blessed to be here."

The Philadelphia Phillies signed Burrows, 27, to a minor league contract on March 25 and he was assigned to Reading the same day. One of the oldest pitchers on the staff, Burrows and the Fightin Phils will begin the 2024 season on Friday at 7:05 p.m. with the opening game of a three-game series at Bowie.

"I'm sure he's going to be a plus addition for the club," Reading manager Al Pedrique said. "He's going to help the younger guys a lot."

A right-hander, Burrows was selected by Detroit with the 22nd pick in the first round of the 2015 MLB draft from Weatherford High School in Weatherford, Texas.

After five seasons in the minor leagues, Burrows made his major league debut in 2020, recording five relief appearances for the Tigers. He posted a 5.40 ERA in 6 2/3 innings.

Burrows made just one appearance with Detroit in 2021, allowing four earned runs in 1 2/3 innings. He was designated for assignment on June 15.

Minnesota claimed Burrows off waivers a week later. He pitched in five games and made one start for the Twins in 2021, going 0-1 with a 12.54 ERA in 9 1/3 innings.

"Those guys are good," Burrows said about major league pitchers. "They're there for a reason. They are very consistent."

Burrows spent the latter part of the 2021 season and all of the 2022 and 2023 seasons in the minors. After pitching for the Dodgers organization in 2022, Burrows was signed to a minor league contract by Atlanta ahead of the 2023 season.

Burrows made 36 appearances, 10 of which were starts, with Triple-A Gwinnett last season, posting a 3-5 record with a 5.67 ERA in 73 innings. He also made one start with Double-A Mississippi, tossing 3 1/3 scoreless innings.

Burrows spent spring training with Minnesota until he was released on March 21. He threw 2 1/3 innings for the Twins in Grapefruit League action, allowing four earned runs.

While he has started nine or more games in every season of his professional career except for the COVID-19 pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Burrows is expected to serve as a reliever for the Fightin Phils.

"I started for a long time and it didn't really work out in my favor," Burrows said. "I believe I'm going to be in the bullpen this year and I'm going to embrace that role. Hopefully it's the best route for me."

Burrows relies on two pitches — a fastball and a slider. While he is working on developing a changeup, Burrows said his main focus is throwing his two primary pitches for strikes on a consistent basis.

"Consistency and health, that's really it," Burrows said. "If you can be consistent, you can have a long, successful career."

While his goal is to work his way back to the big leagues, Burrows looks to make an impact in Reading.

"He pitched in the big leagues for a reason, and that's why we signed him," Pedrique said. "We feel 100 percent that he's going to help us on and off the field."