After just one start, Tim Stauffer returns to DL for Padres

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This certainly hasn’t been Tim Stauffer’s year. Four days after making his season debut against the Nationals, the right-hander has gone right back on the disabled list due to a sprained right elbow.

Stauffer’s original injury that kept him out the first five weeks of the season was termed a right elbow strain. After a rehab assignment, he returned to give up four runs — three earned — in five innings versus Washington on Monday.

It’s yet to be announced who is pitching in his place Saturday. Left-hander Eric Stults, who was claimed off waivers from the White Sox yesterday, is one possibility.

Stauffer, the fourth overall pick in the 2003 draft, was a nice story for the Padres in 2010, when he amassed a 1.85 ERA in seven starts and 25 relief appearances, and he remained pretty good as a full-time starter last year, going 9-12 with a 3.73 ERA. Still, he’s never been able to escape the injury bug that’s held him back from the moment he was drafted. Now it looks like 2012 could go down as another lost year for him.

Marlins sign Sean Burnett to minor league deal

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Free agent reliever Sean Burnett signed a minor-league pact with the Marlins on Saturday. Per’s Joe Frisaro, the left-hander is slated to begin the season in extended spring training and will work toward a role in the majors.

Burnett, 35, has not appeared in full-time role in MLB since 2012. He last pitched for a big league team in 2016, surfacing for 5 2/3 innings with the Nationals before returning to the minors. Despite signing a minor-league deal with the Phillies last spring, he failed to make the Opening Day roster and was released prior to the start of the season.

Complicating Burnett’s return is a slew of chronic elbow issues. The left-hander has dealt with everything from bone spurs to a torn UCL over the last six years, and will need to take things slowly in the minors before the Marlins consider adding him to the bullpen this season.