HOUSTON — The news on Angels reliever Sean Burnett was not bad, but it didn’t sound real encouraging, either. The left-hander threw another simulated inning in Arizona on Saturday but seems to have hit a bit of a plateau in his return from elbow surgery.
“He got through it and he felt OK afterward, but he needs a little bit of work,” Manager Mike Scioscia said. “And he needs to do it in a controlled environment.”
Translation: Burnett, who would be an integral part of the bullpen if he was healthy, will not be starting a minor league rehabilitation assignment any time soon. Scioscia said Burnett needs to build up his stamina after being limited by elbow problems to 13 games last season. Burnett did not pitch past mid-May.
“He really hasn’t done this for a whole year,” Scioscia said. “You’re not going to all of a sudden feel good, throw a couple of bullpens and get out there and pitch in a game. Right now, he’s basically going through spring training, so it’s going to take a little time.”
Is there a realistic chance that Burnett could be activated by the end of April?
“I think the next 10 days will give us a little better indication of what’s happening,” Scioscia said, “but he hasn’t gotten close enough for us to tell.”