Tag: Sean Burnett

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Sean Burnett shut down with more elbow problems


Angels left-hander Sean Burnett began the season on the disabled list while continuing to recover from August elbow surgery and now his attempt to resume a throwing program has been shut down due to more soreness.

Burnett signed a two-year, $8 million deal with the Angels as a free agent two offseasons ago, but was limited to just 13 appearances last year before going under the knife.

In talking to Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com about Burnett’s status manager Mike Scioscia did not seem very optimistic:

He’s trying to get over the hump of some residual soreness that pops up here and there. I don’t think you’re at a point of writing anybody off, but there’s certainly a question right know of when he’s going to be back. You can’t count on him until he gets to be 100 percent, and he’s not there yet.

Burnett was one of the best left-handed relievers in the National League before signing with the Angels, throwing 202 innings with a 2.81 ERA in three-and-a-half seasons for the Nationals, but he did have some arm problems even during that strong run.

2014 Preview: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

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Between now and Opening Day, HardballTalk will take a look at each of baseball’s 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2014 season. Next up: The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

The Big Question: After two years of disappointments, do the Angels have a shot?

There has been no bigger disappointment in baseball over the past two years than the Angels. After signing Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson before the 2012 season and after signing Josh Hamilton a year ago, the Angels missed the playoffs both years. By a wide margin last season. And while Wilson has been solid, the two biggest bats on the market in those two seasons have been busts. Apart from promoting Mike Trout and watching him dominate baseball and apart from nearly single-handedly scaring teams away from long-term contracts for big sluggers, the Angels haven’t done anything of significance over the past two seasons.

But there is at least some reason to hope this year. It’s only modest reason, and it’s based more on unscientific things like the law of averages than anything truly tangible, but at the very least it’s too early for Angels fans to throw in the towel.

Simply put: it’s really hard to imagine Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton putting up two more dreadful seasons between them. Pujols was famously hampered by injuries last year and is supposedly healthy again. Hamilton was less famously aggravated by injuries. While it’s entirely possible that each of them has hit a Dale-Murphy-in-1989 kind of wall, it would be maddeningly improbable for a future Hall of Famer and a recent MVP to both do so at once. It could happen, but for me to believe it will require me seeing it. And if they do bounce back — even part of the way back, to respectability if not dominance — the Angels offense should be in fantastic shape.

Mike Trout is the best all-around player in the game and should continue to be so for a long time. While they lost Mark Trumbo’s homers, they also lost his nearly unprecedented out-making abilities. David Freese fell off a bit last year, but is capable of solid contributions. Kole Calhoun hit well in 58 games last season and has a nice minor league track record. Raul Ibanez can’t be expected to go on forever, but he had a fantastic season in 2013 and should contribute as well.  The upshot: the Angels were third on-base percentage, fifth in slugging and sixth in runs in the American League last season with Pujols and Hamilton doing close to nothing for them. It’s not hard to imagine the offense being among the best in the league with even a reasonable rebound from those two and expected contributions from the rest of the lineup.

So many ifs, obviously. And the “they look good on paper” thing hasn’t worked out too well for the Angels in a while. But the Angels could very easily have a playoff-caliber offense. And that’s reason to hope.

What else is going on?

  • Obviously offense isn’t everything. What really sunk the Angels last year was the pitching. The Trumbo trade did a lot to address that, bringing in Hector Santiago and Tyler Skaggs, who should help bolster the back end of the rotation, which was hideous last season. Neither should light the world on fire — and while Skaggs has some upside, we pretty much know what Santiago is — but after the Joe Blanton experience in 2013, Mike Scioscia will probably welcome modest expectations reasonably-met.
  • The top end of the rotation is nominally OK with Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson — they’re big stars and at times have been among the best starters in baseball — but Weaver’s diminished velocity and some late-season forearm issues have to be cause for concern.He’s lost a good four miles per hour off his heater since he came up and has become more hittable. While there’s no reason to panic, if he declines more quickly than expected, all bets are off for the rotation.
  • The bullpen sucked eggs last year too, but it should be improved. Bringing in setup man Joe Smith from Cleveland is a big help. And, while Sean Burnett and Dane De La Rosa will likely start the season on the disabled list, their presence for most of the season will represent a big improvement over last year. More generally, Jerry Dipoto brought in a ton of organizational bullpen depth via minor league signings that, unlike last year, won’t require him to repurpose starting pitchers and generally scramble if and when the relievers who start the season in Anaheim falter.
  • Hot seat watch: It’s been a long time since a major league manager did less with more than Mike Scioscia has done over the past two seasons and not paid for it with his job. Not that the Angels’ problems have been his fault — who bet on Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton forgetting how to hit? — but managers do usually pay for such struggles. If the Angels limp out to a slow start for a third straight year, it’s going to be hard for Scioscia to avoid the hot seat. In his favor, though, are the lack of 2012 or 2013-size expectations.

Prediction: They could surprise and, for once, exceed expectations. But with the Rangers and A’s as stocked as they are, it’ll be hard to see the Angels finishing above Third place, American League West.

Sean Burnett is done for the season

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The Angels’ two-year, $8 million marriage with left-handed reliever Sean Burnett is off to rocky start.

Burnett has made just 13 total appearances this season because of elbow issues and now Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times passes along word that he has been shut down for the final two months due to ongoing joint discomfort. He might need surgery, but it won’t be the Tommy John kind.

Burnett posted a dominant 2.38 ERA and 57/12 K/BB ratio in 56 2/3 innings last season for the Nationals and parlayed that into a nice free agent deal in Anaheim. He will make $3.75 million in 2014 and carries a $4.5 million club option for 2015.

Sean Burnett shut down for a month with elbow injury

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The good news for Angels reliever Sean Burnett is that an MRI exam showed no structural damage in his injured elbow and doctors have told the left-hander he won’t need surgery.

The bad news? Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that Burnett will be completely shut down for at least a month, at which point he’ll start throwing again and see where he’s at. In other words, there’s seemingly a pretty good chance Burnett has thrown his last pitch for the Angels this season.

Burnett signed a two-year, $8 million deal this offseason after leaving the Nationals as a free agent and October surgery to remove bone spurs from his elbow kept his price tag down, so the Angels knew what they were getting into.

Sean Burnett sees Dr. James Andrews about left elbow

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Angels reliever Sean Burnett has been limited to just 13 appearances this season due to forearm and elbow injuries. And he’s still looking for answers.

According to Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com, Burnett paid a visit to Dr. James Andrews today for the second time in the past five weeks. Angels manager Mike Scioscia said the purpose of the visit was just to “make sure he’s moving in the right direction,” but the left-hander hasn’t progressed beyond throwing on flat ground.

Burnett, who had two bone spurs removed from his elbow during the offseason, landed on the disabled list at the end of April with forearm inflammation. He returned a month later, but appeared in just two games before hitting the disabled list again, this time with a left elbow impingement.

Coming off a 2.38 ERA in 70 appearances last season with the Nationals, the Angels signed Burnett to a two-year, $8 million contract in December. They’re hoping to get more out of their investment soon. Angels’ relievers are 13th in the majors this season with a 4.25 ERA.