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MLB Boston Red Sox

Injury to Boston Red Sox’ Matt Thornton No Big Deal

Matt Thornton

Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Red Sox put recently acquired lefty reliever Matt Thornton on the DL Wednesday, but there is absolutely no reason to raise concern.

The initial reflex is to think it is an issue since the Red Sox traded for him. True, but they gave up very little to get Thornton, sending outfielder Brandon Jacobs to the Chicago White Sox. Jacobs struggled to stay in the top-40 prospects in the Red Sox organization, but could be overrated in hindsight as he is a threat to make the top 10 in the White Sox organization, not because he got any better, but because that system is so depleted.

When the Red Sox got Thornton, they knew there was a risk of injury, just as there is with any 36-year-old pitcher, but he was also brought in to be a piece of the bullpen, not necessarily a key piece. When Andrew Miller went down for the season, it left the Red Sox with just Craig Breslow as a left-handed option in the bullpen. The Red Sox young pitchers have stepped up and to make depth of the bullpen seem significantly different than just a month ago, plus Drake Britton is a left-handed arm that has found some success with the club.

There is also good news on the starting pitching front, with Clay Buchholz finally throwing off the mound for the first time since July 17. He only threw 27 pitches at a mild intensity, but he felt no pain that forced him to shut it down in July. He expects to throw again over the weekend in Kansas City, and suddenly a mid-to-late August return looks like a real possibility.

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