Sean Burnett to undergo surgery to remove bone spur from elbow

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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.

Report: 11 umpires have opted out of the 2020 season

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Jon Heyman reports that 11 MLB umpires have opted out of the 2020 season or have otherwise declined to participate. He says “some are said to have family members who are ill.” The umpires’ identities are not yet known.

Umpires, like players, have the right to opt-out with full pay if they are in a high risk group due to preexisting health conditions. Umpires can, obviously, be older as well, so age factors into it for some as well. Also like players, umpires who are themselves not high risk can opt-out if they have concern for the health of family members, though they will forego paychecks.

Recently, one umpire who is high risk — Joe West — made headlines for not only choosing not to opt-out but for also giving voice to COVID-19 denialism, questioning official statistics about infections and deaths.

The latest on West: