Tyler Thornburg is one of the best arms the Milwaukee Brewers have. Not only has he excelled in the rotation in his limited chances as a Brewer, but he has also been a strong arm out of the bullpen.
Recently their have been rumors that because of the 26-year-old’s ability to pitch as a starter he may be sent down to AAA as the season begins. While his future may best suited for the rotation in 2016 and beyond, he simply cannot be demoted as the year begins. With other options in AAA that could fill in as an emergency starter, Thornburg must be on the roster as the season begins.
Although he doesn’t currently have a spot in the rotation, Thornburg could be used again as a prized piece in the bullpen again this season. Last year before injury he was nearly dominant. Take away one bad final outing before his injury and his ERA would have been lower than three. Keeping him on the roster again from day one is a must.
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Even if his main role is used as a long reliever in middle innings, he can still be a very valued piece to the major league roster. If a starter has a short outing in a close game, Thornburg has the arm to not only eat innings, but also keep opposing teams at bay.
Last October, the best teams in baseball were built around strong bullpens. The Brewers already have several dynamic pieces in the bullpen and Thornburg’s presence makes them even better. He may still have a future as a starter at some point in the future, but there is absolutely no point in wasting innings in the minor leagues and taking one of the best arms off of the opening day roster in 2015.