Now we’re down to five pitchers for three spots.
One of those spots should go to Walden. He’s been the team’s best reliever this spring, posting a 1.42 ERA and piling up 13 strikeouts with only four walks over 12 2/3 innings. If the remaining bullpen roles are truly up for grabs, it’s hard to argue that Walden hasn’t grabbed the bull by the horns.
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The opposite can be said about Thornburg. He’s having an absolutely brutal spring, owning a 10.50 ERA while allowing a pair of homers and a staggering six walks in only six innings. This isn’t the same pitcher who once served as the closer for the Milwaukee Brewers.
However, Thornburg has a history of starting slowly in spring training so these results can be taken with a grain of salt. The Red Sox seem to believe in his upside. His $1.7 million salary becomes guaranteed if they don’t cut him by Monday yet they still have him scheduled to pitch next week. That’s a strong signal that they intend to take Thornburg with them to Seattle.