Angels relief pitcher Sean Burnett looks down as Oakland Athletics'… (Chris Carlson / Associated…)
SEATTLE — Pitching in games wasn't so much the problem for reliever Sean Burnett, who had a 1.04 earned-run average in 11 appearances before being put on the 15-day disabled list because of forearm irritation Sunday.
It was the discomfort Burnett felt between appearances, preventing him from pitching on consecutive days, that sent the veteran left-hander to the sidelines for at least two weeks.
"Pitching-wise, I feel better than I have all year," said Burnett, who had surgery to remove two bone spurs from his elbow in October. "I'm able to execute my pitches and do what I want with the ball right now, which is the funny part — the better I'm feeling physically pitching, my arm feels worse."
Burnett had Tommy John surgery after the 2004 season, but an MRI test ruled out structural damage in the ligament, and he's confident this injury isn't serious.
"It feels fine as long as I can take a few days off, but it's not fair to my teammates to do stuff like that," Burnett said. "Hopefully, with a few days of no throwing, it will calm down. It just seems like right now the muscle is mad at me."
Burnett is the fourth Angels reliever to go on the DL this season, joining Kevin Jepsen, Mark Lowe and Ryan Madson. With ace Jered Weaver, shortstop Erick Aybar and third baseman Alberto Callaspo also sidelined, the Angels have put seven players on the DL in April.
"We're getting hit with things you get hit with in baseball — it happens," Manager Mike Scioscia said. "No doubt, some important pieces of our lineup are missing, but we'd be in better standing if our starting pitchers were doing the job they can do. When that happens, despite having some guys banged up, we'll win games."
Burnett was replaced on the roster by pitcher Tommy Hanson, who came off the bereavement list after missing his last start because of the death of his 24-year-old stepbrother in Georgia.
Hanson declined to go into detail about his stepbrother but said he shared a bedroom with him "from the age of 9 to 14" in San Bernardino and Redlands. The right-hander believes returning to the mound Monday night in Oakland will help the healing process.
"Being here is my therapy," Hanson said. "I know I had to be there for my family, but the whole time I was there I had that feeling I was supposed to be with the team working. Watching games at night wasn't fun, to say the least. I'm glad to be back at work."
The Angels on Sunday traded triple-A catcher Chris Snyder to the Baltimore Orioles for triple-A right-hander Rob Delaney, who has a 0-0 record and 10.50 ERA in five major league games for Minnesota and Tampa Bay. . . . Aybar (bruised left heel) and Callaspo (right calf tightness) will start brief minor league rehabilitation stints this week, Aybar at triple-A Salt Lake on Monday and Callaspo at Class-A Inland Empire on Tuesday. . . . Oakland left-hander Brett Anderson was scratched from Monday night's start against the Angels because of an ankle injury. Right-hander Dan Straily will pitch in his place.