The Washington Nationals announced on Monday that left-hander Sean Burnett has been experiencing irritation in his pitching elbow. Davey Johnson is going to give Burnett a couple of days off to rest his arm. At this point, there is no talk by the Nationals of putting him on the DL or shutting him down for a significant amount of time.
It has been obvious over Burnett’s last four pitching appearances that something was not right with the left-hander. Since August 25th, his ERA has gone from 1.86 to 2.46 in four appearances.
During his relief appearance on August 25th against Philadelphia he pitched a full inning, giving up a run by hitting Chase Utley, allowing him to steal second and third, and then giving up a hit which scored Utley. In his next outing against the Marlins on August 29th, he gave up two hits and recorded no outs. He was replaced by Drew Storen who put out the fire Sean left behind, not allowing any of the inherited runners to score.
Burnett appeared in back to back games against St. Louis on September 1st and 2nd and was terrible. On September 1st he went 2/3 of an inning, giving up a walk, two hits and an earned run. The run Burnett allowed tied the game, a game the Nats went on to lose. On September 2nd, he again went 2/3 of an inning, giving up three hits, one of them a two run homer which tied the game.
Hopefully, rest will resolve the problem. However, it may take more than a couple of days off to get Burnett back to form. Burnett was pitching on three days rest on August 25th, and three days rest on August 29th. Three days off prior to both of those appearances did not help. He had two days rest before his appearance on September 1st before he pitched in back to back games.