Tyler Thornburg
Tyler Thornburg
30-Year-Old PitcherRP
Boston Red Sox
Injury Coach's Decision
Est. Return 2/1/2019
2018 Fantasy Outlook
The Red Sox acquired Thornburg from the Brewers last offseason with the hope of strengthening the bridge to closer Craig Kimbrel. In March, he was dealing with a "dead-arm period" and lacked command in limited Grapefruit League appearances. By the end of the month, he was diagnosed with a shoulder impingement, and the Red Sox placed him on the disabled list to begin the season with the hope of getting him back in late April. After multiple setbacks kept him sidelined into June, it was revealed that he had thoracic outlet syndrome, and would need season-ending surgery to treat the issue. The Red Sox signed Thornburg to a non-guaranteed one-year deal to keep him in the fold as spring training begins, and it's expected that he'll be healthy when pitchers and catchers report in February. When healthy, Thornburg brings a mid-90s fastball, good curveball, and occasional changeup in his arsenal, which gives him the ability to rack up strikeouts and generate value in deeper formats even in a setup role. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a one-year, $2.05 million contract with the Red Sox in December of 2017, avoiding arbitration.
Shut down for rest of season
PBoston Red Sox
Coach's Decision
September 26, 2018
Thornburg was shut down for the remainder of the 2018 season due to a lack of command on the mound, Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com reports.
Thornburg hasn't pitched since Sept. 14, when he logged another poor outing against the Mets. According to manager Alex Cora, Thornburg just didn't have the ability to bounce back and it has since become apparent that Cora doesn't trust the right-hander in any sort of situation. Per Cotillo, Thornburg is "looking forward" to having a regular offseason after dealing with shoulder injuries the past couple years.
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2016
No Stats
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2016vs Left .180 156 54 14 25 4 2 1
Since 2016vs Right .215 214 57 21 41 8 1 11
2018vs Left .308 44 9 3 12 1 2 0
2018vs Right .286 63 12 7 16 0 0 6
2017vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016vs Left .130 112 45 11 13 3 0 1
2016vs Right .185 151 45 14 25 8 1 5
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2016
ERA at Home
ERA at Home
No Stats
ERA at Home
Since 2016Home 1.97 1.03 50.1 4 2 7 10.9 3.4 0.9
Since 2016Away 4.43 1.20 40.2 6 3 6 11.1 3.5 1.5
2018Home 2.45 1.16 14.2 2 0 0 6.1 2.5 1.8
2018Away 10.61 2.25 9.1 0 0 0 10.6 5.8 2.9
2017Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016Home 1.77 0.98 35.2 2 2 7 12.9 3.8 0.5
2016Away 2.59 0.89 31.1 6 3 6 11.2 2.9 1.1
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Stat Review
How does Tyler Thornburg compare to other relievers?
This section compares his stats with all relief pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 30 innings). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
92.9 mph
Strand %
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Thornburg's spectacular 2016 season bought him a ticket from Milwaukee to Boston, landing him with the Red Sox in a trade for Travis Shaw and two prospects. The 2016 numbers for the right-hander were elite, with a 2.15 ERA in 67 innings and a 34.2 percent strikeout rate. That performance eventually gave him the closer role in Milwaukee after the Jeremy Jeffress trade, which went well enough until he stumbled at the end of the season, allowing runs in four straight appearances and increasing his ERA from 1.55 to the final 2.15 mark. Even with that stumble, his ascension was still complete, going from a middle relief role to a late-inning arm for a contender. His arsenal revolves around a fastball that sits around 94-96 mph and a good curveball that he loves to use early in the count. Thornburg figures to open 2017 as Boston's top setup man and would likely be the first name called if something were to happen with Craig Kimbrel.
Similar to his 2013 campaign, Thornburg saw more success in the majors than in the minors. With the Brewers, he acted as a long reliever, posting a decent 3.67 ERA and 1.25 WHIP. With Triple-A Colorado Springs, however, he put up a rough 5.28 ERA and 1.61 WHIP. Some of these disappointing Triple-A numbers could be as a result of pitching in hitter-friendly Colorado Springs, but Thornburg did himself no favors with a career-low 5.8 K/9. The 27-year-old has proven himself as one of the more reliable pitchers on a young Brewers staff and has shown he can strike out major league batters, so he should still have a role with the Brewers going forward despite the rough showing in Triple-A this past year.
Thornburg was well on his way to a nice season out of the Brewers’ bullpen before seeing his campaign cut short due to an elbow injury. He was fortunate to avoid Tommy John surgery, but did not pitch after June 6. Presumably healthy for 2015, he will likely open in a middle-to-long relief role out of the Brewers’ bullpen. His ratios were not pretty, but he averaged nearly a strikeout per inning, and owned a 2.83 ERA prior to his final outing of 2014, so he could be a key cog in the relief corps at some point in 2015.
It’s rare that a player struggles at Triple-A but dominates in the majors, but that’s exactly what Thornburg did in 2013. Thornburg allowed a lot of runners to reach base and did not win a game in 15 starts with Triple-A Nashville, but he shined in Milwaukee, posting a 3.04 ERA in 11 relief appearances, and an even more impressive 1.47 ERA in seven starts. Thornburg doesn’t have dominant stuff, but he throws three pitches and gets the ball over the plate. His big league performance essentially negated his rough 2013 Triple-A season, but the Brewers' addition of Matt Garza via free agency means he will likely open the 2014 campaign with Nashville. However, he will likely be among the top options should the Brewers need to bring up a starter.
Thornburg continued to shoot through the Brewers' ranks last season, appearing in games at every level from Double-A through the bigs. As a starter in the minors, he posted a 10-4 record, 3.20 ERA, and 113:37 K:BB in 112.2 innings; and while he fell victim to the long ball with Milwaukee, he at least got his feet wet in the majors. Thornburg figures to open the 2013 campaign in the minors, but he could be one of the top options should the big club need to add a starter. If the Brewers decide his secondary pitches are not good enough to cut it as a starter in the big leagues, he should at least develop into a useful late-inning option in the bullpen.
Thornburg was bumped up to High-A Brevard County and pitched well with a 10.03 K/9IP in 68 innings as a starter. The 4.37 BB/9IP is disconcerting and may cause him to be moved into a relief role, but the Brewers will continue to use him as a starter in the minors. He could get bumped up to Double-A in 2012 with an eye towards contributing at the major league level in 2013.
More Fantasy News
Throws low-leverage inning in win
PBoston Red Sox
August 24, 2018
Thornburg worked around a pair of hits to pitch a scoreless inning in Thursday's 7-0 win over Cleveland.
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Mowing down batters
PBoston Red Sox
July 29, 2018
Thornburg struck out one in a scoreless inning in Saturday's 10-4 win over the Twins.
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Makes mechanical fixes
PBoston Red Sox
July 23, 2018
Thornburg adjusted his mechanics and retired the side in the ninth inning of Sunday's 9-1 win over Detroit, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reports.
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Makes Red Sox debut Friday
PBoston Red Sox
July 7, 2018
Thornburg allowed one run on one hit in one inning in Friday's 10-5 win over the Royals.
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Officially activated Thursday
PBoston Red Sox
July 4, 2018
The Red Sox activated Thornburg (shoulder) from the 10-day disabled list ahead of Wednesday's game against the Nationals.
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