Corbin Burnes' spring disaster would be treated differently if he were Yankees' ace

...and that's probably a good thing.

Baltimore Orioles Photo Day
Baltimore Orioles Photo Day / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages
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The Yankees were asked for Spencer Jones in exchange for this?!

Nothing matters less than spring training performance -- unless you're Carlos Rodón living under the microscope, or Aaron Judge ducking Twitter injury detectives attempting to perceive mid-at-bat cringes. The only thing, in fact, that matters less than spring statistics in general are the spring statistics of a pitcher. Typically, while hitters try to get their reps in and timing right, gleeful every time they light up the scoreboard with gaudy small-sample-size production, pitchers are tinkerers.

After all, there are only so many fireballs in a given arm. Why waste your best fastballs and nastiest breakers on competition that doesn't count? More often than not, a pitcher will attempt to get comfortable (or maybe try out a new experimental pitch) at 80% speed, ramping things up further as Opening Day approaches.

That is to say ... there are plenty of rational explanations for new Orioles ace Corbin Burnes routinely stinking up the joint in three spring starts ... but we wouldn't be hearing any of them if the Yankees had shelled out premium talent to acquire him rather than the O's.

Yankees would be roasted if Corbin Burnes had put up three spring stink bombs in their uniform

Where's all the "Pay Ernie Clement" discourse?!

Since Burnes is a Baltimorean, he gets a pass from both the national media and regional trolls. If he were a high-profile running mate to Cole, he'd be getting the Rodón treatment -- and he'd probably be getting it from the yappy Blue Jays' Twitter account after Sunday's farce.

Burnes began the spring with a strong inning against the Boston Red Sox, but has gotten progressively worse in his ramp-up appearances (another thing Yankees haters would've seized upon and self-loathing Yankee fans would've freaked out about). In two contests since that clean frame, he's allowed eight earned runs in 4.2 innings, getting popped over the fence by luminaries like Clement. All told, he's been good for a 12.71 ERA.

Burnes' next start, if it came with the Yankees organization, would probably be turned into a live BP session to avoid the circling hawks -- but even that couldn't save Rodón, who saw his batting practice performance written up like it was Game 6 of the ALCS and misinterpreted (willfully) by Ben Verlander.

No wonder some people don't want to come to the Bronx. But (obnoxious Yankee fan voice) if Burnes can't handle Sarasota, he probably can't handle the heat up north, either!

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