You probably heard the rumors all weekend long. Now, according to Ben McKee of 247Sports, it appears to be happening. Tennessee pitcher Chase Burns is hitting the transfer portal.
UPDATE: Tony Vitello confirmed the news on The Sports Animal this morning.
“Pretty straightforward. We’ve known that he would be gone for a while but the good case to be careful about what you read on Twitter,” Vitello said. “Cause like I said that one has been pretty straightforward.”
The 20-year old right hander was removed from Tennessee’s starting rotation mid-season by Tony Vitello and was replaced with Andrew Lindsey. The results were undeniable, helping Tennessee turn their season around and eventually make it to Omaha for the College World Series.
Burns had an ERA north of six when Vitello made the swap. He moved to a bullpen role for the Volunteers and was simply brilliant down the stretch. Burns delivered huge moments against Clemson, Southern Miss and Stanford — three games that Tennessee had to have.
As a true freshman, Burns made 14 starts and posted an 8-2 record. He finished 2022 with a 2.91 ERA and racked up 103 strikeouts.
Perhaps the move to the bullpen didn’t sit well with Burns, and he was simply riding the rest of the year out before making his move. Still, with Chase Dollander and Andrew Lindsey set to move on, it would seem like a move back into the rotation would be in the cards for the 2024 season.
Whatever the reason is, this move certainly seems odd on the surface — especially for an in-state kid. It’ll be interesting to see where he ends up landing.