Pittsburgh Pirates starter A.J. Burnett is having the greatest season of his 17-year career, but it may come to an end early. The 38-year-old righty was placed on the disabled list Friday with inflammation in his right elbow.
Tom Singer of MLB.com reports, “It’s either [the ulnar ligament],” said Burnett, who had the requisite Tommy John surgery for that in 2003, “or the flexor [tendon]. I’m prepared for both. Either way, I’m not going to be bothered by the result.”
Burnett rules out surgery and vowed to not return “if I can’t throw, or if I’m throwing what I was throwing the other night. I can’t do it to these guys.”
Burnett has posted a 3.06 ERA over 135 1/3 innings this season, while putting up a WHIP of 1.34. He also is striking out 7.6 batters per nine innings. Burnett is also coming off his first All-Star appearance.