Red Sox reliever Tyler Thornburg will undergo surgery to treat thoracic outlet syndrome in his right shoulder Thursday afternoon, according to the team. The procedure will end his season.
Thornburg was acquired by the Red Sox in a winter meetings trade that sent Travis Shaw and three prospects to the Brewers. He started experiencing discomfort in his shoulder during spring training, and has not yet appeared in a game for Boston.
The Red Sox were counting on a 1-2 bullpen punch of Thornburg and closer Craig Kimbrel, who has been sensational for the club so far this year. In Thornburg’s absence, Matt Barnes has stepped up to become a viable option.
If Thornburg comes back healthy next season, Boston’s bullpen could be scary. A group headlined by Kimbrel, Thornburg, Barnes and injured ex-Mariner Carson Smith, who underwent Tommy John surgery, has the potential to be one of the best in the American League.
Thornburg, 28, is under team control through the 2019 season.