Burawa Finally Back

Danny Burawa is pitching now in the AFL

Right-hander Danny Burawa missed the entire 2012 season with a pair of injuries, one of which was never officially diagnosed. He's made his way back to the mound this offseason, however, making his first appearance of the year for the Scottsdale Scorpions in the Arizona Fall League on Wednesday.

"I'm feeling a lot better actually," Burawa said. "It took me a long time. It was a tough year. I'm still getting the arm strength back and I'm looking forward to [the] Arizona [Fall League], trying to put the season behind me.

"I'm actually feeling really good. Everything is coming together so I'm a lot better now."

He initially tore his oblique in Spring Training and just when he was set to return from that around mid-season he sustained a second injury that to this day has never been officially diagnosed.

"I heard everything from there was a calcium build up on the ribs, which they were treating like a tumor, and then another doctor said I broke a rib and they couldn't figure it out.

"I kept trying to pitch through it and I'd have setbacks. I took a month off [after a while] and finally finished my throwing program a couple of weeks ago."

He began his second throwing program at the beginning of August and did not complete it until mid-September, just a few days before Instructional League camp began.

While it seems plausible that the two injuries were intertwined given the mid-section location of both, Burawa still doesn't really know.

"That's the crazy thing about it -- the way I figure it, it was a broken rib because it got better, it's not something that is still there anymore. It was on opposite sides of the body, but I don't know if one caused the other.

"The only way you break a rib is if something hits you and nothing hit me. I couldn't tell you what happened, that's the craziest part of it.

"I probably strained [the oblique] in the bullpen and tried to pitch through it in the game and made it worse. That's how I made it a tear. I was good from that -- I completed that throwing program, made it to a rehab game and the second last pitch of that game I felt something going on the other side.

"I thought I tore my other oblique and that's when I got all of the x-rays and scans and stuff. That's when they said I broke a rib or had a calcium build up, or whatever it was."

He was able to pitch in a few simulated games and live batting practices before Instructs and then made three appearances during Instructional League -- one against the Blue Jays, one against the Phillies, and the final one on the last day of mini-camp during an intrasquad game.

"As far as the spots that were injured everything felt good," he said. "I'm still trying to get my arm strength back doing all of my long-tosses. I'm not going to say I'm 100 percent back until my stuff is all the way back, but it's getting better everyday.

"Every time out I'm throwing a little bit harder with more command and [a] sharper slider. Everything is getting better every outing."

Considering the season-long layoff and bouts with injuries, it could take some time for his command to come back but for now he's just thankful to be pitching again and eager for his time in the Arizona Fall League.

"It's just great to be on the mound again. It makes you appreciate -- I started the year in big league camp and then by the end of the year I was jealous of the GCL guys because I just wanted to be on that mound. Not being able to do it is just frustrating.

"It's just great to be on the mound but how much better it's going to be in Arizona with the adrenaline I'm going to feel facing great competition out there, I'm really looking forward to it," he concluded.

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