The Washington Nationals are still stinging from their loss to the St. Louis Cardinals in Game Five of the National League Division Series. Â However, the team will need to begin to look toward 2013. Â That begins with getting healthy. Â As part of this start, Sean Burnett will will undergo elbow surgery next week.
According to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, Burnett will undergo surgery on his left elbow to remove a small bone spur. Â The Nationals' pitcher has been battling the symptoms of the bone spur for the entire second half of the season. Â He indicated that the first time he felt discomfort was after the All-Star break.
Burnett could be a free agent this offseason, but the Nationals may bring him back. Â The 30-year old relief pitcher has a mutual option for 2013, but he or the Nationals may decline the option. Â This does not mean he won't be back to Washington. Â Instead, he and the team may work toward a new contract. Â He was very serviceable in 2012.
Burnett posted a 2.38 ERA in 70 appearances this season. Â He has pitched in six Major League seasons and has a 3.58 career ERA. Â Burnett has pitched for Washington for the last four seasons. Â With the Nationals he has a 2.81 ERA. Â He was drafted by the Pirates in the first round of the 2000 draft and spent his first three seasons with Pittsburgh.
The Nationals had one of the best pitching staffs in baseball this past season. Â That is part of how they were able to achieve the best record in the National League. Â As Washington looks to move forward and recover from their crushing last inning defeat to the Cardinals, they will work to bring back as many familiar faces as possible. Â Burnett could be key toward keeping their bullpen successful in 2013.