Sean Burnett suffers a torn UCL …
Angels reliever Sean Burnett has a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow, an injury that will knock him out for the rest of the season and may require a second Tommy John surgery, an MRI revealed on Wednesday.
As the corresponding move for Burnett going on the disabled list, the Angels recalled right-hander Matt Shoemaker, who will start on Thursday against the Mariners.
Burnett was three appearances into his return from a nine-month rehabilitation from elbow surgery when he felt elbow discomfort in the seventh inning at Safeco Field on Tuesday night. Burnett got Michael Saunders to pop out, then motioned to the dugout and was taken out of the game.
When approached by reporters afterwards, the 31-year-old left-hander was on the verge of tears and had to cut the interview short after less than 30 seconds.
With the Nationals from 2010-12, Burnett – a product of Tommy John surgery in 2004 – posted a 2.76 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP while compiling 212 appearances.
The Angels signed him to a two-year, $8 million contract in November 2012, but Burnett never got healthy. In 2013, Burnett made two separate trips to the DL, appeared in only 13 games and didn’t pitch past late May, suffering a torn flexor tendon that required surgery that August. Burnett spent all of 2014 working his way back, suffering a temporary setback after a bad reaction to a shot in late March and then gradually working through a rehab assignment before being activated on Friday.
Burnett’s return lasted all of three batters.
The Angels hold a $4.5 million club option on Burnett for 2015, with a $500,000 buyout.