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Burnett out at least until weekend

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Burnett out at least until weekend

His throwing elbow still not 100 percent, Sean Burnett is again unavailable out of the Nationals' bullpen for Wednesday night's game against the Cubs.

Burnett hasn't pitched since Sunday, when he served up a game-tying homer to St. Louis' Daniel Descalso in the eighth inning for his second consecutive blown save. The left-hander asked for treatment on his elbow afterward, and manager Davey Johnson has put him on the shelf since.

Burnett is receiving anti-inflammatory medication, and the Nationals are hopeful that will be enough to get him back on the mound. But that won't happen until this weekend at the earliest.

"He's going to be down a few more days, I guess," Johnson said. "I guess he's getting better. It's just rest."

Burnett has dealt with elbow inflammation at various points throughout the season. He overcame it all to post a 1.81 ERA over his first 53 games but has struggled since, giving up five runs and 16 hits over his last six innings.

The Nationals still don't plan to have an MRI taken of Burnett's elbow, though this appears to be something the reliever will have to address once the season ends.

"If I had a say so, I'd stay away from that MRI," Johnson said. "I think it's just something he's had before and it just flared up."

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Bryce Harper knows why he didn't play well, but he won't specify why

Bryce Harper knows why he didn't play well, but he won't specify why

Bryce Harper struggled by his standards in 2016 and he says he know why it happened last year. While it was rumored last season that he was playing through injuries, Harper never really missed significant time, nor did he really say that his injuries were the reason for his disappointing numbers. 

Speaking with the media today at spring training, Harper hinted at his injuries from last season as he said he was just trying to stay in the lineup every day.  

Although Harper's statistics dropped off dramatically from his MVP season in 2015, his numbers weren't entirely awful last year. He still hit 24 homers, drove in 86 runs and he had an .814 OPS. 

With a full offseason to heal up, Harper will be a prime bounce-back candidate as he looks to help the Nationals win their third NL East title in the last four years. 

Related: Sorry D.C. sports fans, Bryce Harper is a Dallas Cowboys fan

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Nationals' Max Scherzer says he may not be ready for season opener

Nationals' Max Scherzer says he may not be ready for season opener

The Nationals aren't certain to have ace Max Scherzer ready to pitch for Opening Day. Scherzer, 32, was unable to compete in the World Baseball Classic this summer due to a stress fracture in his right ring finger. 

When he spoke to the media today at the first bullpen session of spring training, he said that the fracture has healed but the symptoms continue. 

Scherzer also said he'd just started throwing again this week. Manager Dusty Baker confimed that the Nationals don't know whether Scherzer will be ready to start the season. 

Any time a team's star pitcher suffers an unusual hand injury, it's cause for concern for the club and fans. 

Scherzer won the NL Cy Young Award last season and posted a 20-7 record as a starter. He also led the MLB with 284 strikeouts. 

Scherzer is an especially vital part of the Nationals rotation considering the injury history of Stephen Strasburg, who landed on the DL twice last season, once with soreness in the elbow that needed Tommy John surgery in 2010. 

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