Sean Burnett's recent struggles out of the bullpen haven't been a result only of poor execution but of an elbow issue that plagued the left-hander earlier this summer and has come back to haunt him again.
Burnett got treatment after yesterday's game for "a little inflammation" in his throwing elbow, manager Davey Johnson said this morning. Johnson said the 29-year-old reliever would likely need to rest for a "couple of days."
The Nationals' primary setup man all season, Burnett acknowledged in mid-July he had been dealing with elbow tightness for about six weeks. He bounced back, though, and tossed 10 consecutive scoreless outings through August 10.
But over his last eight appearances, spanning six innings, Burnett has been tagged for 16 hits, with opponents posting a 1.220 OPS against him. He was charged with blown saves each of the last two days after giving up the tying run to the Cardinals on both Saturday and Sunday.
Johnson said he became aware of the recurring problem following yesterday's win.
"After the game, he got treatment," the manager said. "That's not usually what he does."
Johnson said Burnett was not scheduled to receive an MRI on the elbow.
The Washington Nationals avoided arbitration and agreed to one-year deals today with Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon, Tanner Roark and newly acquired catcher Derek Norris.
If team's and players didn't agree to contracts by today's 1 p.m. ET deadline, an independent arbitrator will rule on the contract at a later date and decide how much the player will play for in 2017.
Harper and the Nationals agreed to a $13.625 million deal, which was significantly more than the $9.3 million contract that was projected by MLB Trade Rumors. Last season, coming off his 2015 MVP campaign, Harper made $5 million. The 24-year-old will be a free agent after the 2018 season.
Harper is coming off a disappointing season by his standards, in which he hit just .243 with 24 homers, which was way down from his total of 42 dingers in 2015.
According to multiple reports, Rendon signed for $5.8 million, Roark signed for $4.315 million and Norris' deal was for $4.2 million.
Roark made just $543,400 last season, which he vastly out-performed. Roark was one of the most consistent pitchers in the National League last year as he won 16 games and posted a 2.83 ERA in 210 innings of work.
With today's signings, all of the Nationals' arbitration-eligible players are under contract for 2017.
Related: Tanner Roark to replace Max Scherzer on World Baseball Classic roster
Nationals star Bryce Harper has a bold fashion sense, that's for sure. Just take a look at that hair. But he a more romantic fashion risk for his own wedding with a custom suit jacket.
He opted for a navy blue tuxedo with black piping. It was the lining that really stood out as special.
If you look closely, you'll see photos of Harper and his wife, Kayla, decorating the lining of the jacket.
There's also the date of wedding and script reading "Mr. and Mrs. Harper."
He credited the makers of his tuxedo, Stitched, in the tweet.
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