The Washington Times - July 14, 2012, 06:17PM

UPDATED 11:41 p.m.: In his postgame comments Saturday, Davey Johnson did an about-face on Sean Burrnett’s status and said he should be available to pitch Sunday. Burnett was prescribed anti-inflammatory medication to address lingering tightness in his left elbow. Johnson believed that would address the problem that seemed potentially more serious earlier in the day. 

The original post is below. 


MIAMI — A trip to the disabled list is a “big consideration” for left-hander Sean Burnett, Nationals manager Davey Johnson said Saturday.

Burnett insists the tightness he felt in his left elbow during Friday’s appearance, when he struck out the lone batter he faced, won’t keep him from the mound.

But the tightness has lingered for an extended period this season. And Johnson is concerned four days off for the All-Star break didn’t help the problem. Burnett will see Dr. Wiemi Douoguih, the team physician, after the Nationals return to Washington Monday, Johnson said.

“He’s too valuable to us to take a chance,” Johnson said.

Burnett missed the 2005 season after Tommy John surgery on the same elbow, so any tightness in the joint leaves him uneasy. Before Saturday’s game at Marlins Park, Burnett planned to play catch to see how the elbow felt and expected to be available to pitch.

But Johnson won’t use Burnett, with a 1.97 earned-run average over 39 games, Saturday.

“Hopefully there is no story,” said Burnett, who downplayed the issue. “It’s just random tightness, I guess. … I try not to pay attention to it and hopefully it’ll go away.”

If Burnett is placed on the disabled list, that would open a spot for Drew Storen to return. He’s scheduled to make his fifth rehabilitation appearance Sunday, this time for the Harrisburg Senators.

The Nationals have seven players on the disabled list while 10 other players have spent time on the list this season.

— Right-hander Chien-Ming Wang pitched four innings for Harrisburg Friday in his first rehabilitation start. Limited to 50 pitches, Wang allowed seven hits and three runs, two earned, while striking out three.

“He threw the ball pretty good,” Johnson said. “But he didn’t have a very good defense behind him.”

— Something to keep an eye on: Johnson reported after Friday’s game that shortstop Ian Desmond was still “real bothered” by his oblique injury. Nevertheless, Desmond hits in his usual sixth spot Saturday after collecting two hits and stealing a base Friday.

Here are the lineups:

Danny Espinosa, 2B
Bryce Harper, CF
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B
Michael Morse, RF
Adam LaRoche, 1B
Ian Desmond, SS
Tyler Moore, LF
Jesus Flores, C
Gio Gonzalez, LHP

Jose Reyes, SS
Omar Infante, 2B
Carlos Lee, 1B
Justin Ruggiano, RF
Hanley Ramirez, 3B
Emilio Bonifacio, CF
Donovan Solano, LF
John Buck, C
Mark Buehrle, LHP