Burnett shut down for rest of season …
Sean Burnett tried to ramp it up to game intensity in his bullpen session on Monday and “still felt a little funny.” An MRI on Tuesday, done without the dye, revealed that he had a small tear in his left flexor tendon and that he wouldn’t pitch all year. Burnett still hasn’t decided on the next course of action, but the most likely scenario is that he was what he deemed a minor surgery that would have him ready to go by Spring Training of 2014 — perhaps starting his throwing program by December or January.
In the first year of a two-year, $8 million contract (which includes a team option for 2015), Burnett will have pitched in 13 games — and Ryan Madson, the other new addition, still hasn’t pitched in any.
“I got a little emotional after the bullpen the other day,” Burnett said Wednesday. “I’m frustrated. It’s been a few months right now. I come to a new team, trying to just fit in and help the team win and I haven’t been able to do much. It’s been frustrating, emotional. I’ve done everything I possibly could to get back on the field and I haven’t been able to get over that last hump. It’s tough. I like to compete, I like to be out there. I’ve been healthy for quite a few years now. It’s not where I want to be, that’s for sure.”
From 2008-12, Burnett averaged 67 appearances per season, compiling a 3.22 ERA without making a single appearance on the disabled list.
This year, he was on the DL from April 28 to May 21 with left forearm irritation, then landed on the DL again on May 28 with what the team called a left elbow impingement. By mid-June, he wasn’t progressing, so he visited Dr. James Andrews, who performed his Tommy John surgery in ’04, and was told to shut down throwing for a month to see if his arm would get better.
Burnett did, then got back to throwing bullpens recently, but could never progress to throwing them at full intensity.
Two options for Burnett now are either injections, or rest and rehab, but, as the 30-year-old lefty said: ‘I’ve kind of already tried both of those.”
“I’ll probably sit down with Dr. Andrews next week,” Burnett added. “If he can tell me surgery is the best option, which it sounds like it might be, I’ll go in and do that.”