TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Angels' Sean Burnett has not suffered a setback in his return from the elbow surgery that ended his season last August.
The left-hander progressed from long-toss to throwing off the slope of a mound this week, and he expects to throw a bullpen session in the next four or five days, though Manager Mike Scioscia said the team’s timetable is for Burnett to throw off a mound “within a week to 10 days.”
Either way, there appears to be a good chance Burnett that will not be ready for opening day -- not that the Angels, who are taking a cautious approach with the veteran reliever, are overly concerned.
“No doubt, it’s cutting it close, but he’ll be ready on his own time,” Scioscia said. “You can’t look at the schedule and say you have to have him ready by a certain date.”
Burnett rarely throws more than one inning, so he would only need a handful of spring-training appearances to be game-ready. However, it may take longer to gain the stamina required to pitch two or three days in a row, and if that means Burnett has to open the season on the disabled list, the Angels won’t mind.
The Angels need Burnett, who had an 0.93 earned run average in 13 appearances last season, to help neutralize the powerful left-handed bats in the American League West, which saw the additions of Prince Fielder, Robinson Cano and Shin-Soo Choo this winter.