The Phillies have released veteran left-hander Sean Burnett, according to a team announcement. The reliever, who had an opt-out in his minor league contract for Sunday, requested his release.
At his best, Burnett was a high-end bullpen option from 2009-12, when he combined for a 2.86 ERA and a 55.4 percent ground-ball rate with the Pirates and Nationals. Arm issues have derailed Burnett’s career since, however, as the two-time Tommy John surgery recipient didn’t throw more than 9 2/3 innings in any of the previous four major league seasons. After missing all of 2015, he returned to the bigs with the Nationals last year and allowed two earned runs on three hits in 5 2/3 frames. Burnett spent most of the season at the Triple-A level as a member of four different organizations – the Nats, Braves, Dodgers and Twins.
While spring training stats don’t carry any significance, the 34-year-old Burnett did fare decently in camp with the Phillies. In nine innings, he yielded two earned runs on six hits and two walks, though he didn’t record any strikeouts. That showing clearly wasn’t enough for the Phillies to hand Burnett a roster spot, and he’ll attempt to catch on with a different organization as a result.