Free agent left-hander Sean Burnett is making progress toward a return this season after undergoing Tommy John surgery for the second time in his career on June 5 last season, agent Jim Munsey tells MLBTR.
“I actually feel great and have begun throwing off a mound,” said Burnett, via Munsey. “This isn’t my first rodeo so I’ve got a pretty good idea about my progress.” Multiple teams have reached out to Munsey to check in on Burnett, and the agent says his client is currently on track to help a club sometime around the All-Star break or trade deadline in mid-to-late July. Burnett is expected to throw for interested teams in May or June.
Burnett, 32, was limited to just 10 1/3 innings over the life of a two-year, $8MM contract signed with the Angels prior to the 2013 campaign. Nerve irritation and a strained flexor tendon cut short his first season with the Halos before the aforementioned Tommy John wiped out nearly all of his 2014 season.
From 2009-12, though, Burnett was a very strong left-handed option in the bullpen, working to a 2.85 ERA with 7.5 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 234 innings for the Pirates and Nationals. During that time, Burnett unsurprisingly displayed strong numbers against left-handed hitters, holding them to a .213/.279/.336 batting line. However, unlike many lefty relievers, Burnett also tallied strong numbers against right-handed hitters. While hitters with the platoon advantage did post superior numbers to their left-handed counterparts, the .235/.319/.340 batting line they tallied from ’09-’12 is overall a rather weak level of production.