Dan Burawa missed the entire 2012 season due to injury, but he's returned in 2013. In 2011 he had reached as high as High-A Tampa and he finally made it to Double-A this season. He had a good 2.59 ERA with a 3.31 FIP and 9.0 K/9 in 66.0 innings, but also suffered from a 5.73 BB/9.
While that might not look exciting, he actually managed a 12.5 K/9 through the first three months of the season and kept opponents to a sub-.500 OPS in July and August. Despite the horrendous walk rate, he actually kept opponents to an OBP under .300 in the last two months of the season. While the final result isn't great, he's had some positives along the way. He'll be 25 next season, so hopefully he can get the chance to prove himself.
I want to start off by congratulating you and the Trenton Thunder for winning the Eastern League Championship. What was it like to be part of a championship team?
Winning a championship was something I really had my eye on at the beginning of the year. It was great because we weren't exactly dominate all year, but we all knew we had the talent to be special. It was really cool to see everyone flip that switch at the same time when the games mattered most.
Was there a change in atmosphere on the field and in the locker room, or was it more or less just like any other game?
The mental aspect definitely was different but that's not something you show, it's something you deal with when you're on the field and work to overcome. Our pre game rituals were just as relaxed but the post game celebrations felt way sweeter.
How do you feel you did acclimating back into baseball after missing the entire 2012 season?
Spring training was strange. In the back of my mind I felt like "Yeah you feel great today but what can go wrong tomorrow?". Then around June I realized I'm not made of wet tissue, and if I put in the work I could feel good every day. Other than that the baseball lifestyle comes pretty easily to me and it helped that my family was only threes hours away.
What do you feel you most improved in 2013?
Definitely my ability to damage control and trust myself and my stuff. When I was younger, if two guys got on, my head would spin and things would get worse. In 2013 I truly believed I could get myself out of any situation I got into.
How do you plan to spend the offseason? What is your workout and conditioning regimen like?
Haha I'm in the middle of a postseason two week free for all (no gym, not afraid to order dessert, and lots of GTA5), but after that, I take my offseason stuff pretty seriously. Diet, lifting, personal training sessions, and yoga. I like to keep busy and, unless the NY Rangers are playing, stay off the couch.
Other than winning the championship, what was your favorite moment of the 2013 season?
Just being in the bullpen everyday. Imagine spending three hours a day for 150 days with eight close friends/peers. The range of topics and depths of conversations we covered, both mature and immature, is hilariously unbelievable.
What do you hope to work on in 2014?
Put together a solid season rather than solid stretches. Come into this year with the same mentality I ended this one with. Pitch with confidence rather than doubt every day.
Thanks to Dan for taking the time to talk to us. You can follow him @dannyburawa and see how he does next season in the upper levels.