Hot starts are what they are. But it's generally important to keep in mind that someone as totally fringe-y as Brian Burres, who battled for the fifth spot in the ORIOLES rotation during spring training and has never been much of a prospect or anything, should be looked at kindly.
If he starts hot, then great! Sometimes a 2005 Bruce Chen happens, and the guy keeps it up all year. Generally speaking, though, not the case.
And that's what we're seeing with Bri Bri right now. Take a look at the ghastly figures from his past two starts--IF YOU DARE!
05/27 v. NYY: 3.2 IP, 10 H, 8 ER, 4 HR, 0 BB, 0 K
06/01 v. BOS: 4.0 IP, 12 H, 7 ER, 2 HR, 1 BB, 2 K
Sure, he faced a couple of good lineups. But to quote the great Sidney Deane, it is hard g-damn work to make anyone look that bad, especially two starts in a row. Bad pitch placement, leaving meatballs up, and hitters also seeming to get some timing on that Flanagan-taught mess he pulls out of his sleeve.
Coming into the May 27 start against the Yankees, Burres' ERA sat at a pretty, highly surprising 3.16. Now? 4.87. And climbing.
I'm not really complaining, just talkin' some shop on Burres. This is not unexpected, nor should it be considered as such. But if it keeps up, then you have to start considering taking him out of the rotation. He's not a guy that has a big future, not someone you're going to ride through terrible streaks and wait for him to pull out of the funk. The funk may, in fact, consume him. He'll be consumed by the funk.
I hope he does pull out of it in his next start and get back to throwing well (though he was treading on thin ice in many starts, to be sure), because like a lot of these guys I had no real opinion on prior to the start of the 2008 season, I've grown to like Burres. Grown accustomed to his face, if you wish. I love that his BB rate has been cut down a ton, and I think he's made some legit strides. But will that make him good enough?