Red Sox Leaders Fire Back on Thornburg, Defend Throwing Program
As the injuries to the Red Sox pitching staff mount, some are wondering if Sox pitchers are throwing too much. The Red Sox brain-trust is shooting back at critics following the announcement of another pitcher being sidelined. Tyler Thornburg, the new reliever picked up in the off-season, will be out for a month with a bum shoulder.
“It’s not the throwing program, OK? I wish you would just lay off of that, OK?,” Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski said to reporters on Tuesday. “We talked about that part of it.”
Analysts are pointing to the Red Sox throwing program, a relatively unique system that the team is fiercely defending, as the likely cause of Thornburg’s shoulder injury. Deemed perfectly healthy when he arrived at spring training, there were absolutely no whispers of potential problems with the new reliever’s body even just a month ago.
Then on March 11, something started to go wrong.
Thornburg told the Boston Herald’s Mike Silverman that the Boston’s throwing program was unlike anything he had done with the Milwaukee Brewers.
“I came in, and bullpens and live BP felt great, and it was one of those things where I’ve had a shoulder program for quite a while, but I hadn’t done new things,” said Thornburg.”They were saying new muscles were activating, muscles I wasn’t using, so they started to get fired up and with also the increased throwing in the game and increased throwing program, those muscles started getting a little tired after starting to firing for once.”
Thornburg is the newest member to a growing club of injured Red Sox pitchers. Two weeks ago, the organization announced David Price wouldn’t be ready for the start of the season. Then, Drew Pomeranz turned up with a tight triceps.
When reporters grilled Dombrowski about possibly changing the throwing program so that pitchers stay healthy, he stayed on the defensive.
“The program here has been outstanding,” Dombrowski said. “If you look at the program here, and I’m relatively new here, I think there have been (fewer) arm surgeries than any place in baseball. There’s always an adjustment. That’s just part of it.”
Manager John Farrell echoed Dombroski’s sentiments.
“To say it’s the root cause [of pitchers’ injuries], that’s a little false,” he said. “That’s a lot false. And very shortsighted.”
The Sox bullpen will now be without Thornburg and a still injured Carson Smith. They will turn to the likes of the Joe Kelly, Robbie Scott and Fernando Abad to fill the gaps.