The Nationals do not have a firm timetable for when left-hander Sean Burnett will be thrown back into active duty.
Burnett, who has been struggling with elbow soreness for some time now but only recently received treatment for it, was unavailable in the Nationals’ 2-1 win over the Cubs on Monday and is expected to be unavailable for at least a few more days.
Nationals manager Davey Johnson said Tuesday that Burnett is taking anti-inflammatory medication and they’ll monitor how he’s feeling in the next few days.
“Hopefully two or three days and we’ll see how he is,” Johnson said. “I haven’t heard what (Nationals medical director) Wiemi Douoguih is suggesting on how long he’s down. I just check with how he feels before I think about using him.”
Burnett has been dealing with some version of this issue since at least shortly after the All-Star break, but his results were finally affected in August.
Twenty-one of the 56 batters he’s faced this month have reached base and he’s allowed 16 hits in his last six innings of work. His ERA in that stretch is 3.86 and opponents are hitting .353 off him
Johnson said he would not rush Burnett back into action, wanting his pivotal late game reliever to get right more importantly.
“The way I manage, today’s really important but you keep an eye on tomorrow,” Johnson said. “And if I can mess up tomorrow if I keep going there today, then I’ll check him on a daily basis, see how he’s doing. Yeah I need him, I like him. I want him healthy and I don’t want him to aggravate it further.”