PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) – Pirates starter A.J. Burnett has made it known he’s thrilled to back in Pittsburgh pitching for the Pirates and he reiterated that point with Dan Zangrilli at PirateFest.

Burnett told the Pirates pre and postgame show host why he chose Pittsburgh to play out the final year of his career.

“There was really nothing to think about, this is the happiest I’ve been probably in my career playing here,” Burnett said. “I honestly felt like in a way, I owed it to the fans, I owed it to my teammates, the organization to come back if they would let me and finish what we started to build here.”

Burnett talked about what he sees different from this team than the one he played with in 2012.

“They’re a lot quicker. I saw that when I was pitching against them,” Burnett said. “It’s a young, exciting team. I played with them and I pitched against them and I made a joke the other day if you can’t beat them, you better join them.”

Burnett also discusses the impact pitching coach Ray Searage has had on him and why he’s happy to be work under his watchful eye again.

When asked if Searage is his favorite pitching coach he has worked under, Burnett said, “He’s up there.”

“Ray’s a big reason I came back.”

Click the audio link below to hear Burnett talk about his role on the team this year, why he struggled last year pitching through injury and his excitement to be working with Francisco Cervelli again.

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