Left-handers Jason Vargas and Sean Burnett have extended their long-toss programs out to 140 feet. While Vargas threw a 'pen session today, Burnett could resume throwing off a mound within a week to 10 days, Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said Thursday.
Jason Vargas threw a 30-pitch bullpen today. Sean Burnett, basically on the same program, will do so tomorrow. #AngelsVargas, who underwent surgery to remove a blood clot in his left armpit on June 26th, was 6-4 with a 3.65 earned-run average when he went on the disabled list, and his return by early August would be a huge boost to a rotation that ranks 11th in the American League with a 4.57 ERA.
— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) July 23, 2013
Vargas, who will be a free agent this winter, would also have considerable trade value if the Angels, who are 11 games behind first-place Oakland in the AL West, fall far out of contention by the end of this month, but it appears his injury will prevent the Angels from trading him before the July 31 non-waiver deadline.
Burnett, out since May 28th, has an 0.93 ERA but has been limited by elbow problems to 13 games this season. Burnett seemingly has awful luck because his elbow only flares up when he’s throwing off a mound.
“He feels pretty good, but the real issue for Sean is once he gets off a mound and turns it loose,” Scioscia said. “That’s going to take a lot more work.”
Overall Vargas has a 3.65 ERA with a 6-4 win-loss record.