Now that the Nationals’ postseason hopes have been dashed, Sean Burnett will turn his attention to addressing an injury that he pitched through during the second half of the season.
According to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, Burnett will undergo surgery next week to remove a small “bone spur or two” from his left elbow. The good news is that it’s a relatively minor procedure that will likely not affect his offseason throwing program.
Burnett posted a 2.38 ERA and 57/12 K/BB ratio over 56 2/3 innings in 70 relief appearances during the regular season, but gave up four runs (three earned) over one inning of work in two appearances during the NLDS against the Cardinals. His contract includes a mutual option for next season at $3.5 million, but Kilgore speculates that Burnett is likely to decline and test the open market. Of course, the Nationals have until five days after the World Series to change his mind if they are so inclined.
The Cubs’ defense — or lack thereof this year — has been a topic of conversation as it could help explain why the team hasn’t played at the elite level it played at last year.
Manager Joe Maddon tried to go into detail about that but ended up channeling his inner Rex Ryan. Via CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney.
If, in the future, Joe Ross ever complains about a lack of run support, point to his first four starts of the 2017 season.
Ross started on April 19 in Atlanta against the Braves, on April 25 in Colorado against the Rockies, on April 30 at home against the Mets, and on May 23 at home against the Mariners. In those games, the Nats’ offense scored 14, 15, 23, and 10 runs respectively for a total of 62 runs, or an average of 15.5 per start. Ross was the pitcher of record for seven, eight, 10, and 10 runs for a total of 35 runs (8.75 runs per start), which would still make him the major league leader in run support by that restrictive standard.
Among qualified starters — Ross did not qualify — entering Tuesday’s action, the Rockies’ Antonio Senzatela led the way according to ESPN, averaging 7.11 runs of support in nine starts. The Rockies scored double-digit runs in only three of those starts, oddly enough.
Per the Nationals, the 62 runs of support for Ross is a major league record in a pitcher’s first four starts of a season.