"Although it's been tough and things didn't necessarily go my way, I'd much rather be doing this than not doing this," Burke said last week when the Mets played the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. "Every time I come back here [to the big leagues] I am appreciative, for sure."
Not only did Burke have to go to Las Vegas, but he pitched in a bandbox of a stadium in a Pacific Coast League that favors hitters.
He had a 4.55 ERA during 31 appearances for Las Vegas.
Burke had made 32 appearances for the Mets heading into their final series of the season against the Milwaukee Brewers.
So that's a lot of pitching, not to mention plenty of traveling.
"A few times I had to go from Las Vegas and take a red-eye to make it to a day game in New York," Burke said. "Then again, I would rather be doing it than not doing it."
For a while he wasn't doing it, at least at the highest level.
Burke's major-league debut came in 2009 with the San Diego Padres, when he made 48 relief appearances. He didn't return to the majors until this year.
His return came after he reinvented himself, becoming a submarine pitcher.
Burke said he's still getting used to the motion. He is still also getting accustomed to being a big-leaguer. It's often forgotten how difficult it is not only to get to the majors but to stay.
Burke loves the game, and not just on the major-league level. He was ecstatic when his former Brooklawn Senior American Legion team won the World Series for the third time this summer. Burke said he was on his computer checking things out as much as possible.
"It's just so awesome and cool that this program just continues to have so much success," he said.
Baseball on all levels means a lot to Burke.
He is living his dream, and he said the greatest trait a person in his position needs is patience. It is especially needed while Burke continues to master his new pitching motion.
What he also learned is that the life of a major-leaguer is so special that it is worth fighting for. So he will work in the offseason and look to come back new and improved in spring training.
Burke, who lives in Medford in the offseason, understands that staying on a major-league roster is not to be taken for granted.
He said this has been a good learning experience, and if the lessons had to be split between Las Vegas and New York, then that's just part of this difficult process.