FROM STAFF REPORTS
June 7, 2002
Devil Rays lefthander Nick Bierbrodt was shot twice early this morning in Charleston, S.C., where he had been assigned earlier this week.
Bierbrodt was at a Hardee’s restaurant near the Charleston RiverDogs’ ballpark about 3 a.m. when someone shot him in the chest and arm, according to police. He is in intensive care at the Medical University of South Carolina Medical Center, though his wounds are not believed to be life-threatening.
Bierbrodt, 24, had just reported to Class A Charleston and made his first official appearance of the season on Wednesday. He did not pitch last night, as the RiverDogs had a home game against the Greensboro Bats at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Ballpark.
Bierbrodt, a first-round pick of the Diamondbacks in 1996, spent most of last season in the major leagues, jumping from Double-A to Triple-A to the big leagues with Arizona. He made five starts with Arizona before he was traded (along with outfielder Jason Conti and cash) to the Devil Rays for righthander Albie Lopez and catcher Mike Difelice on July 26.
He made 11 starts with the Devil Rays, going 3-4, 4.55, and was expected to compete for a spot in the Tampa Bay rotation this spring. But his control left him in spring training, and the Devil Rays were forced to shut him down after a couple of particularly rough spring outings.
The Devil Rays kept him in extended spring and worked on fundamentals and rebuilding Bierbrodt’s mechanics. He pitched in three extended spring games before getting assigned to Charleston.
His first start with the RiverDogs was encouraging, as he went five innings and gave up five hits, two walks and one wild pitch. He struck out two and gave up four runs, two earned. He threw 82 pitches, 51 for strikes, and did not figure in the decision.