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Doctor tells Angels reliever Sean Burnett to rest

Orthopedic surgeon advises the left-hander, who is having an elbow problem, not to throw for a month. 'I was crushed, man,' Burnett says.

June 11, 2013|By Mike DiGiovanna

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BALTIMORE — The news was bad for reliever Sean Burnett on Tuesday, but it could have been much worse.

The Angels left-hander came away from a second visit to orthopedic surgeon James Andrews in five weeks not needing elbow surgery, but he was ordered not to pick up a ball for a month, which will push his return to August at the earliest.

"I was crushed, man," Burnett said. "I came here to help this team, and it's been disappointing. I haven't been able to do much, if anything. I just want to play, and I'm unable to do that."

Burnett, who signed a two-year, $8-million deal in the off-season, has an 0.93 earned-run average in 13 appearances but has spent as much time on the disabled list as he has on the active roster.

He went on the DL on April 28 because of a forearm irritation, returned in late May, pitched twice and returned to the DL on May 28 because of an elbow impingement. He continued to play catch, but when he tried to throw off a mound Thursday in Anaheim, there was significant pain.

Burnett had Tommy John surgery in 2004 and had bone spurs removed from the elbow in October, but he said an MRI test revealed no major structural damage. Throwing may have exacerbated the problem, so Burnett, who received in injection in the elbow, is taking a different tack.

"I tried my plan, and it didn't work," Burnett said. "So we're going to go by the doctor's plan and take some time off."

Roster move

Reliever Robert Coello was put on the 15-day DL because of shoulder inflammation and right-hander Dane De La Rosa was recalled from triple-A Salt Lake.

Coello, featuring a 94-mph fastball and a forkball that looks more like a knuckleball, was 2-1 with an 0.68 ERA in his first 11 games to bolster an injury-plagued bullpen.

But in his last two outings, against the Chicago Cubs on June 5 and the Boston Red Sox on Sunday, Coello gave up six earned runs and five hits, walked five and struck out two in 11/3 innings.

"I felt a little something pitching against Houston [June 1] and as you could see the past two games, it wasn't the same," Coello said. "The ball's not coming out right, the velocity is down. I don't feel that same pop, that same finish."

De La Rosa, acquired from Tampa Bay in March, was called up in early April and was 1-1 with a 4.05 ERA in 27 games before being sent to triple A on June 5.

Error of his ways

Usually sure-handed and accurate-throwing third baseman Alberto Callaspo, who committed six errors in a seven-game span from June 2 to Sunday, did not start Tuesday night.

"It's totally uncharacteristic for him to play the way he's played the last few weeks, but he'll be fine," Manager Mike Scioscia said. "Everyone goes into little slumps with their game, but he's not one to dwell on mistakes. He's really good at turning the page, getting to the next play, and that's why he plays at such a high level defensively."

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