Oh Burnett!!!!

Some people are not sleeping at Jay's camp.
Burnett exits game with injury
Initial reports indicate elbow pain; MRI results pending
By Jordan Bastian / MLB.com

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Toronto's clubhouse was unusually quiet as team
officials and players wanted to keep speculation to a minimum until they
learned the extent of the injury suffered by A.J. Burnett.
After throwing just one pitch in the second inning against the Red Sox
on Saturday, Burnett turned towards the dugout and signaled that he
wanted to cut his outing short. Toronto pitching coach Brad Arnsberg and
assistant trainer Dave Abraham met with Burnett on the mound to find out
what the problem was.

Burnett, who signed a five-year, $55 million deal with Toronto in
December, indicated that he was feeling soreness in his throwing arm --
possibly in the elbow or the forearm, according to Blue Jays manager
John Gibbons. The right-hander was removed as a precaution after just 18
pitches, and Gibbons said Burnett left the ballpark to undergo an MRI.
The extent of the injury has not been determined at this point.

"We're paying this guy $55 million or whatever to pitch," Arnsberg said.
"It's a huge loss. Hopefully we don't have anything to worry about."

As Burnett walked back to the clubhouse with Abraham, the infielders
convened on the mound while left-hander Gustavo Chacin made his way from
the bullpen. While Gibbons and Arnsberg wouldn't reveal exactly what
part of Burnett's arm was hurting, first baseman Lyle Overbay believed
it to be his elbow.

"I got there after A.J. was gone, but I asked Troy [Glaus], and he said
it was in his elbow," Overbay said. "If it's in his elbow, that's

One of the reasons an injury to Burnett's elbow would be "scary" for
Toronto is the fact that he had Tommy John surgery on the elbow in 2003.
He pitched in only four games that season for Florida.

"He's had that elbow reconstructed in the past, so he knows his body,"
Gibbons said. "He didn't try to throw a few more pitches, which was

According to Arnsberg, however, Burnett did throw a few more pitches
after feeling some soreness in the arm.

Arnsberg said that when he spoke with Burnett on the mound, the pitcher
informed him that he had experience some minor pain during the first
inning, when he allowed two runs on three hits. Burnett, who was
originally scheduled to pitch five innings, decided to see if the
soreness continued into the second inning. That's when he notified the
coaches that there was a problem.

"He thought he might have felt something in the first inning, and then
he went out in the second," Arnsberg said. "After his warmup pitches, he
thought he'd try one pitch, and that's when things went astray."

Would Arnsberg have allowed Burnett to start the second inning if he
knew the 29-year-old was favoring his arm?

"Of course not," Arnsberg said. "That's ludicrous."

Burnett was scheduled to pitch five innings and throw approximately 80

Bengie Molina, who was catching when Burnett was pitching, said that he
didn't know the pitcher was feeling any pain in the first inning,
either. Molina did note that he knew there was something wrong when
Burnett fired his lone pitch in the second frame.

"I called for a fastball and he threw it, like hesitating, and [it
looked] like a changeup," Molina said. "Then he got hurt. I don't know
what the deal is right now. ... He said he was sore. He kept saying he
was sore, he was sore."

If it is a major injury, though, Toronto will probably turn to Scott
Downs, Pete Walker or Dustin McGowan as a temporary replacement in the
rotation. When the Jays lost starters Roy Halladay and Ted Lilly last
season, those three played important roles in keeping the staff intact.

"It'd be a big blow if it's something serious. We're hoping it's not,"
Gibbons said. "Even if it's not something serious, it's still going to
set him back a little bit anyway. We don't know for how long, but we're
pulling for the kid.

"If it's something serious," he added, "we'll just have to make
adjustments like we did last year."

Let's Go Mets in 2006!!!


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