While some of Matt Thornton’s early-season struggles have been due to bad luck, command issues have plagued him as well. …
Terrific article. James pointed to Thornton’s command too.:
His control hasn’t been up to his usual standard, his fastball maxing out at 95.6 mph isn’t up to his usual standard, has struck out on 2 batters in 3.1 innings, and he gave a go-ahead 3-run HR to Rays 1st basemen Dan Johnson, who was perhaps the only player having a worst start to the season than Rays RF Matt Joyce.
Despite his early troubles, Thornton has gotten consistent support from his manager. Guillen also likely realizes that Thornton is his best pitcher, and that he should be able to rebound rather quickly. For now, the frustration with the pen is at a high point and Guillen is likely to ride the hot hand. Could that include Tony Pena? Maybe, but it’s not likely. Once Thornton returns to form, he should return to the closer role.