Sean Burnett has bone spurs removed from elbow

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After pitching through elbow problems for much of the second half Nationals left-hander Sean Burnett underwent surgery yesterday to remove two bone spurs.

Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that the bone spurs were “small” and the surgery was a minor one that “shouldn’t even interrupt his throwing program.”

Burnett pitched remarkably well down the stretch with a 3.06 ERA and 17/3 K/BB ratio in 18 innings in August and September, but then coughed up four runs in two-thirds of an inning against the Cardinals in Game 2 of the NLDS. He bounced back from that to retire the only batter he faced in Game 5.

Burnett has been one of the best southpaw relievers in the NL since joining the Nationals in mid-2009, logging 202 innings with a 2.81 ERA during that time, so it’ll be interesting to see if he declines his half of a $3.5 million mutual option for 2013 to become a free agent at age 30.