MILWAUKEE — The baseball season is on hold for now, but when players are finally able to take the field, it’ll be a new beginning in many ways. That will especially be the case for one Milwaukee Brewers pitcher.
For Corbin Burnes, 2019 was maybe a season to forget. He did learn a lot. But, he also spent time in the minors. He’s looking for a bounce-back season this year.
“I don’t think it shook my confidence, it was more it made me learn about what are the things I need to work on as far as the mental game goes,” Burnes said.
Once the offseason arrived, Burnes didn’t waste any time getting back to work.
“It wasn’t much of an offseason this year for me, about seven to 10 days after I was already back in here getting back after it,” he said.
“Corbin did take a different path this winter, for sure, and probably the season caused that,” said Brewers manager Craig Counsell.
After having a great debut in 2018 where he was 7-0 with an ERA below three in 38 innings of work, everything went awry the following year. His ERA ballooned to nearly nine runs per game in 49 innings.
“There was a lot of things that we had sat down and talked about that I wanted to work on,” Burnes said. “I felt for me, to get the most out of this offseason was to get to work right away. So, starting about mid-October, I was in here five days a week working out, throwing just as much. So, this is the most I’ve ever thrown in an offseason.”
As fall turned to winter, Burnes found himself making another adjustment — Lasik surgery.
“That was more for trying to get rid of the pain in the butt of glasses fogging up on you, contacts getting dirty,” he said.
Like his offseason, the time from thinking about getting the procedure to being in the chair was quick.
“I went into the doctor’s office and they said, ‘Yeah, you’re good. We have an 8 a.m. tomorrow if you want to do it,'” said Burnes. “It went from maybe ‘let’s go look into it’ to the next day I had the Lasik surgery.”
With fresh eyes, he’s got a new outlook on 2020 as the team waits for opening day.
“For me, it was how, when things go bad, how do you find that reset button. Whether it’s after a pitch, after an inning, whatever it may be, to get back on track,” said Burnes. “That’s something I worked on hard this offseason, you know, the mental game, what aspects I was lacking in, what I was strong in. So, that kind of shaped my offseason program.”
“He’s fired up about what he’s doing, and that’s the best part because he should be,” Counsell said. “He definitely has put in a lot of work and he’s made some adjustments all over himself as a player.”
One thing is for sure; he has a lot of support in the clubhouse, and guys are really on his side so that he does bounce back in 2020.