There's been some provocative stuff floating around about the possibility that A.J. Burnett's latest injury could end his career. Burnett has, of course, repeatedly said he will retire after the season, and any time a pitcher goes on the disabled list with elbow trouble in August, there's at least the chance his season could be over. So it is, surely, possible that Burnett is done.
As far as I can tell, though, it's not anything resembling a foregone conclusion. Burnett will have an MRI tomorrow to see what's going on with his elbow. He's said he won't have surgery right now, which makes sense -- surgery would certainly end his season, and not having it gives Burnett the chance to return. Via Rob Biertempfel:
"I'm prepared for (being told) it just needs some rest or if it's ... the worst (outcome)," Burnett said. "In my mind, surgery is not an option either way. It's a matter of doing enough treatment and building up some pain tolerance so I can stay on the mound in the stretch run."
Burnett adds that he is a starter and that he isn't willing to work as a reliever down the stretch. In any case, we'll know more tomorrow about how much, or whether, he'll be able to contribute.