One thing we heard A.J. Burnett say over and over again in his press conference yesterday was how he had become a pitcher last year and not a thrower. He explained his sudden ability to stay healthy with not relying on trying to throw a 100 mph fastball every pitch, trusting his curve more, and focusing more on control.
A lot of times when players have career years like this they try and explain their performance with nonsensical statements that end up not being true. This caught my attention though, partially because I`m still trying to rationalize this signing. Unfortunately, this seems to be more of a myth than fact.
He did throw his curve more than usual and his fastball less than usual in 2008 but its not a big enough difference to really matter. His FB velocity did decrease but by more than you would expect from a player entering his 30's. His BB/9 rate wasn't that different from the previous year and was actually higher than some other years as well. I don't see much evidence of this sudden change Burnett claims to have made last year. Maybe I`m missing something but I don't really think Burnett is over the injury hump at all.