Thornburg OK, could start again this season

Thornburg OK, could start again this season

Thornburg OK, could start again this season
MILWAUKEE -- One day after Brewers relief pitcher Tyler Thornburg exited the game in the eighth inning with a tired arm, neither manager Ron Roenicke nor the young hurler seemed too concerned about the issue.

In fact, Roenicke even suggested Thornburg could return to his regular role as a starter before the season is over.

"There's a plan, but that changes at times," Roenicke said. "This is a way of keeping down some of his innings. [Members of the Brewers front office] feel like he has developed as a starter, and we'll see what happens where we get into September, but he could end up starting again at the end of the season and giving us at least a better read on him for next year."

The game in which Thornburg exited on Thursday was his fifth appearance of the season for the Brewers, two of which were starts. It was also the first time he pitched on consecutive days this season, as his 14 Minor League appearances came as a starter.

Thornburg said doctors checked on him as a precautionary measure, and they confirmed he was simply suffering from a tired arm. Roenicke said Thornburg won't be available Friday and probably Saturday, but he expected the 23-year-old right-hander to be ready to go on Sunday.

Pitching out of the bullpen isn't completely new to Thornburg, who was a reliever his sophomore year at Charleston Southern University. But that was in 2009, and of his 47 Minor League appearances since then, 44 were starts.

"When you go that long, your body just doesn't remember how to do that," Thornburg said. "Once your arm gets used to it, and once you do it a couple times, it's completely adjusted."

It will take two or three instances where Thornburg pitches on back-to-back days to get fully acclimated to relieving, he said on Friday. Roenicke said he might just handle the rookie differently, pitching him for a couple innings at a time with more time off in between outings.

"It's always a little bit of an experiment with each individual," Roenicke said. "You know what you want to do with him, but sometimes you have to tweak that a little bit."