Photo Credit: Matt Stone / Boston Herald

A key piece of the Red Sox bullpen is set to begin his journey back to Boston.

Tyler Thornburg began his rehab assignment Monday in Pawtucket. The electric reliever showcased the very ability that tempted Dave Dombrowski to deal for the former Brewers closer.

Thornburg showed off a fastball reaching 95 while striking out 3 of the 4 batters that he faced.

The Red Sox got Thornburg in the trade that involved Travis Shaw going to the Brewers. Thornburg was out all of last season dealing with thoracic outlet syndrome – a surgery with a relatively low success rate within pitchers. Before his injury, in 219.2 innings pitched, he posted a 2.87 era.


In the 2016 season with the Brewers he had 90 strikeouts in a mere 67 innings pitched.

The return of the injured reliever provides the Red Sox with flexibility at the back end of the bullpen. A combination of Joe Kelly / Carson Smith / Tyler Thornburg / Craig Kimbrel is a viable bullpen to compete with the best lineups in baseball.

Assuming he’s able to complete his rehab assignment with no hiccups, the Red Sox will regain a major piece to their bullpen.

There’s a lot to be excited about, Red Sox fans.