Results tagged ‘ Sean Burnett ’

Burnett gets job done for Nats on Friday

Nationals manager Davey Johnson said he will continue to rely on reliever Sean Burnett in close games even though the latter is having a disappointing season. Entering Saturday’s action, Burnett is 3-5 with a 5.40 ERA.

In Friday’s 7-2 victory over the Dodgers, Johnson showed how much faith he had in Burnett. With Washington leading, 3-2, in the bottom of the seventh inning, Johnson took starter John Lannan out of the game after Aaron Miles doubled with one out.

Burnett entered the game and was able to get Tony Gwynn Jr. to ground out and strike out Rafael Furcal to end the inning.

“I talked to Bernie and I said, ‘I have all the confidence in the world in you. I’m going to use you in tough situations.’ He was outstanding,” Johnson said.

Burnett said he is grateful the Nationals still believe in him.

“That’s what I expect. That’s what we talked about. My role hasn’t changed,” said Burnett, who is one of Washington’s setup men. “The hardest part was, I was getting put in the games, they were close and I wasn’t getting the job done. [Former manager Jim] Riggleman did it when he was here and Davey has done it. They kept throwing me in the fire. Eventually, I had to start pitching better. The last couple of outings have been better and, hopefully, I can get on a roll.”

Sources: Yankees have eyes on Nats’ Burnett

The Yankees have expressed interest in Nationals left-hander Sean Burnett, according to two baseball sources with knowledge of the situation. However, two additional sources said the two clubs haven’t had any discussions about Burnett — yet.

According to one source, Burnett is one of many relievers around the Major Leagues the Yankees are looking at. The club is looking for another lefty to join Boone Logan in the bullpen.

Burnett is having a first half he would like to forget. In 39 games, Burnett has allowed 18 runs in 29 innings. Opponents are hitting .277 against him.

It would seem unlikely that Washington would trade Burnett because manager Davey Johnson said recently to local reporters that he would like to have two left-handers out of the bullpen. Johnson currently has Burnett and Ross Detwiler out of the ‘pen.

If they make a trade, the Nationals have made it known that they are looking for two-way position players and starting pitching.

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo was not available for comment.

Burnett receives confidence boost vs. Cardinals

Entering Thursday’s action, Nationals reliever Sean Burnett was having a season to forget. He allowed 15 runs in 22 2/3 innings.

Manager Jim Riggleman didn’t use Burnett that much recently because the starting pitching went deep in the game. After the pitchers were done after seven innings, for example, the skipper would use setup man Tyler Clippard for the eighth inning and Drew Storen to close.

“If the starters are going seven, [we should go right to] Clip and Storen because of the way they have been throwing,” Burnett said. “I had an opportunity earlier in the year. I put myself in a situation [where] I struggled. I don’t blame them for going with the two hot hands.”

However, Burnett was needed during Washington’s 7-4 victory over the Cardinals on Thursday night. He entered the game in the 10th inning with the score tied at 4 after Clippard and Storen allowed solo home runs to Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina, respectively.

Burnett faced the heart of the order. After getting Colby Rasmus to groundout to start the inning, one would have thought that Riggleman was going to take Burnett out of the game and get a right-hander to face Pujols. But Riggleman decided to leave Burnett in the game.

“When he got Rasmus out, I felt Burney was throwing the ball well,” Riggleman said. “To be honest with you, with Pujols, it doesn’t matter who is throwing. You have to make good pitches.

“Pujols doesn’t care if it’s a right-hander or a left-hander. If he hits a home run off a left-hander, you might feel like you should have a righty, but it doesn’t matter. Pujols hits them against everybody. As good as Burney was throwing, that was as good of a chance that we had to keep Pujols in the ballpark.”

Burnett kept Pujols in the ballpark. Pujols flew out to right field for the second out of the inning. After Matt Holiday walked, Lance Berkman struck out looking to end the inning.

Burnett acknowledged that he received a confidence boost after Riggleman allowed him to stay in the game to face Pujols.

“I expect myself to stay in that situation, to get those guys out,” Burnett said. “It was a confidence boost at the same time. I had good outings this year. I’ve been lights out and then I have been bad. It was a confidence boost to get through that lineup the way I did.”

Nats tender contracts to five, agree to terms with two others

Entering Thursday, the Nationals had 10 players who were eligible for salary arbitration. Five of them — pitchers Sean Burnett, John Lannan and Doug Slaten and outfielders Michael Morse, and Josh Willingham — were tendered contracts, while catcher Jesus Flores and infielder Alberto Gonzalez agreed to terms on new deals. However, catcher Wil Nieves and right-handers Joel Peralta and Chien-Ming Wang became free agents.

Letting Nieves and Wang walk was not a surprise, for the Nationals are loaded with catchers, which made Nieves expendable, and Wang pitched in 24 games in the past three seasons.

However, letting Peralta get away was a surprise. Peralta had the best season of his career, posting a 2.02 ERA in 39 games. He allowed one run in his final 15 innings. General manager Mike Rizzo wasn’t available for comment.

Terms were not disclosed on Gonzalez and Flores. Gonzalez  is a valuable player off the bench, but his attitude must change when it comes to playing time. He was often upset when taken out of games.

Flores enters the 2011 season as the No. 3 catcher. It didn’t help that he missed most of the past two years because of a right shoulder injury. The Nationals haven’t ruled out Flores starting next season in the Minor Leagues.

Burnett, Lannan, Morse, Slaten and Willingham will have a hearing sometime in February unless they agree to terms with the club.

Of the five players, Willingham appears to the one person who could be traded before the 2011 season gets underway. Willingham is a free agent after the ’11 season and it is believed the Nationals want young players in return for the right-handed hitting slugger.

Six Nats players tendered contracts

The Nationals have tendered contracts to outfielder Josh Willingham, catchers Jesus Flores and Wil Nieves and pitchers Jason Bergmann, Brian Bruney and Sean Burnett on Saturday night.

The Nationals  had an 11:59 p.m. ET deadline Saturday to make a decision on all six players, who are arbitration eligible. 

Earlier in the day, Washington decided it would not be tendering 2010 contracts to pitchers Mike MacDougal and Scott Olsen.

Of all the players coming back, the biggest surprise is Nieves. It was believed that he would be non-tendered after the Nationals signed catcher Ivan Rodriguez to a two-year $6 million, but they decided to keep Nieves because they feel he has been a valuable player — offensively and defensively — off the bench the last two years and can be insurance in case Jesus Flores is not ready for Spring Training.

Flores had surgery on his right shoulder and right elbow, and the team announced as recently as Friday that Flores would be ready for Spring Training.

“I can only go by what the medical people tell me. They say Jesus should be 100 percent ready to participate in Spring Training,” Rizzo said on Friday. “We take them at their word, but we all know that shoulders are very difficult to predict.”

As for Willingham, he is coming off a productive season in 2009. He started the year on the bench, but became a regular in June and hit .260 with 24 home runs and 61 RBIs. Willingham has been mentioned in trade rumors recently. Teams such as the Mets and Braves have interest in acquiring his services.

Bergmann showed improvement after the All-Star break, going 2-3 with a 3.38 ERA as a reliever. Rizzo and manager Jim Riggleman often talked about wanting Bergmann back for the 2010 season.

“In my heart of hearts, I’ve been in this organization a long time. I love people that I play with and play for. I would like to stick around for a long time,” Bergmann said on Wednesday.

Bruney, who was acquired from the Yankees this past week, will compete for the closer’s role durinmg Spring Training.   

Burnett was a quality reliever for the Nationals, who acquired him and center fielder Nyjer Morgan in a trade that sent outfielder Lastings Milledge and right-hander Joel Hanrahan to the Pirates in late June. In 33 games for Washington, Burnett went 1-1 with a 3.20 ERA.

Guzman, Burnett still ailing

Cristian Guzman most likely will not play shortstop the rest of the year because of a tender right shoulder. He most likely will come off the bench. Riggleman recently said that Guzman has been playing with the bad shoulder for at least a month. 

This is not the first time Guzman has had shoulder problems. He missed the entire 2006 season because of a tear inside the shoulder, an injury many believe surfaced when he was a member of the Twins.

Left-hander Sean Burnett most likely is out for the season. He still has the left thumb contusion suffered last month against the Brewers.

Burnett hurt the thumb in the seventh inning on Aug. 23 trying to field a groundball hit by Milwaukee’s Felipe Lopez.

Burnett, who never went on the DL because of the injury, believes rest will make it better.

“It’s a lingering problem and  it hasn’t gotten any better since I got hit ,” Burnett said recently. “It wasn’t that hard of a hit ball. It’s just something that didn’t get any better. At times it has gotten worse. It just hasn’t come along like I thought it would, but I’ve been going out there as much as possible.”   

Burnett, Nieves still ailing

Catcher Wil Nieves was hoping to start on his 31st birthday against the Braves on Friday, but he will continue to be sidelined because of minor left hamstring tightness.

Nieves is looking to play against the Braves by Sunday. Nieves hurt the hamstring last Thursday against the Phillies.

Nieves came to the plate in the top of the third inning and hit a comebacker to left-hander  Cole Hamels, who threw Nieves out at first base. As he got close to the bag, Nieves started limping. Getting back to the dugout was difficult for Nieves. It took about 30 seconds before he hit the dugout steps.

Did you ever wonder why Sean Burnett hasn’t pitched much of late? He still has the left thumb contusion suffered last month against the Brewers.

Burnett hurt the thumb in the seventh inning on Aug. 23 trying to field a groundball hit by Milwaukee’s Felipe Lopez.

Burnett, who never went on the DL because of the injury, believes rest will make it better.

“It’s a lingering problem and  it hasn’t gotten any better since I got hit ,” Burnett said. “It wasn’t that hard of a hit ball. It’s just something that didn’t get any better. At times it has gotten worse. It just hasn’t come along like I thought it would, but I’ve been going out there as much as possible.”

Burnett is planning to see several doctors in the next couple of days.

Morgan has flu-like symptoms; Burnett feeling better

Nationals center fielder Nyjer Morgan was out of Tuesday’s lineup against the Cubs because of flu-like symptoms. Interim manager Jim Riggleman hopes Morgan is back in the lineup by Wednesday. Riggleman replaced Morgan with Willie Harris.

In other news, reliever Sean Burnett, who missed Monday’s game against the Brewers because of a left thumb contusion, played catch at Wrigley Field and said the thumb feels better.

“He threw pretty well, so he is feeling much better,” general manager Mike Rizzo said.  

Sean Burnett has thumb contusion

Left-hander Sean Burnett has a left thumb contusion and is not available for Monday’s game against the Brewers. The Nationals are hoping he can pitch during the three-game series against the Cubs starting on Tuesday night.   

Burnett hurt the thumb in the seventh inning on Sunday trying to field a groundball hit by Milwaukee’s Felipe Lopez. The Nationals were hoping that Burnett could pitch the next inning, but he ended up having X-rays, which were negative.  

Nationals acquire Sean Burnett, Nyjer Morgan [update]

The Nationals have traded reliever Joel Hanrahan and outfielder Lastings Milledge to the Pirates for reliever Sean Burnett and outfielder Nyjer Morgan on Tuesday afternoon.

Morgan is considered the key to the deal for Washington. He was acquired to improve the team’s outfield defense, which is one of the worst in the National League.

The Nationals have been unhappy with their outfielders for quite some time. They have come to the come to the conclusion that Adam Dunn and Josh Willingham belong in the American League as designated hitters and Elijah Dukes makes too many fundamental  mistakes.

The Nationals see Morgan as a center fielder/leadoff hitter. Washington also likes his hockey attitude. He once played with the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League during the 1999-2000 season.

Morgan, who will wear uniform No. 1, was playing left field and batting second for Pittsburgh. Entering Tuesday’s action, Morgan was hitting .277 with two home runs, 27 RBIs and 18 stolen bases.

The Nationals also get younger in the bullpen with Burnett on board. He will be a middle reliever for the team. Burnett appeared in 38 games and had a respectable 3.06 ERA for Pittsburgh.  The Nationals have not ruled out making him a starter, a role he had when he was drafted by the Pirates in the 2000 First-Year Player Draft. 

“We are open for business” said a happy Mike Rizzo, the Nationals’ acting general manager. “We improved two of our greatest needs. We have a great character guy in Morgan. We have our center fielder. Even though he will be 29 in two days, he plays better than most younger men.”  

Hanrahan and Milledge did not fit in the team’s long-term plans. Hanrahan lost his job as a closer twice because he was often hit hard. Most people in the organization felt that his fastball was too straight and he relied too much on his slider.

Lack of defense and inconsistency at the plate are the reasons Milledge has been in the Minor Leagues since mid-April. In seven games, Milledge was 4-for-24 with an RBI for the Nationals.

It also didn’t help that Milledge was late for a meeting the day before Opening Day in Miami.

According to sources, both Rizzo and manager Manny Acta threatened Milledge with a trip back to the Minor Leagues. The team ended up sending him down on April 14.

Rizzo is far from done in terms of making deals. He is looking for a starting shortstop.  The Nationals feel that Cristian Guzman, who is on the trade block, has lost a few steps with his glove.

The Nationals are alarmed that Guzman is having a difficult time getting ground balls to his left.

The Nationals want young starting pitching in return for Guzman, who has one year left on his contract.

The team doesn’t have to acquire a shortstop — at least for the rest of the season. It can go with Alberto  Gonzalez, who is hitting .326 with a home run and 12 RBIs.

The team is also looking to trade Dukes, and that may be hard to do because he comes with a lot of off-the-field baggage. Who they want for Dukes is not known. Dukes is capable of hitting a lot of home runs and getting a lot of outfield assists.

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