Nationals acquire LHP Matt Thornton

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by Amanda Comak

In a move that bolsters the left side of their bullpen with a veteran arm, the Washington Nationals acquired left-handed reliever Matt Thornton on a waiver claim from the New York Yankees on Tuesday.

Thornton, 37, joins the Nationals after going 0-3 with 12 holds and a 2.55 ERA in 46 appearances in his lone season in New York. In his 24.2 innings with the Yankees, Thornton has not allowed a home run, walked just six and struck out 20 (7.3 strikeouts per nine innings).

In 11 Major League seasons that included stops with the Mariners, White Sox, Red Sox and Yankees, Thornton is 32-45 with 182 holds, 23 saves and a 3.49 ERA in 652 games/one start. When facing left-handed batters, Thornton’s career batting average against is .233 and his opponents’ on-base percentage against is .297.

Boston Red Sox v New York YankeesThornton’s 411 strikeouts the last seven seasons (2008 – present) are the most in baseball among left-handed relievers. He’s also recorded at least 20 holds in five consecutive seasons (2008 – 2012), including a career-high 26 for the White Sox in ’12.

The 37-year-old Thornton, in his only career postseason experience, worked 3.1 scoreless innings for the White Sox in the 2008 American League Division Series against Tampa Bay.

Thornton was the Mariners first-round selection (22nd overall) in the 1998 First-Year Player Draft.

Additionally, right-hander Taylor Jordan was transferred to the 60-day Disabled List.

6 Comments

Pingback: Ex-Red Sox Pitcher Matt Thornton Claimed By Nationals On Waivers | MLB | NESN.com

I thought the Nats had no more money for free agents. That is why they got there new (veteran) second baseman for free (Cleveland is paying him).
What gives?

Harold G. Pavel

Pingback: Ex-Red Sox Pitcher Matt Thornton Claimed By Nationals On Waivers - Windows Sports

Novel idea: when a pitcher realizes he has not got his “stuff”, instead of struggling on the mound and giving up runs (Stammen, Soiriano, et al), why doesn’t he (an/or the catcher) just admit the fact to the manager: “I haven’t got it today, Skip. Better take me out.” Now the manager waits far too long and the hapless pitcher says nothing, giving up hit after hit until the manager finally pulls him. If the broadcasters in the booth can see that his pitches are not breaking, surely he can, too. Admit it. Get out of there and let someone else get to work.

Just another example of the Miracle Ranks bumbling. They play stupid, station to station baseball, do all they can to avoid scoring, especially in the second half of the game, and now they hand Thornton away for nothing. Rankees management certainly has some interesting ideas of winning.

Just another Rank move by the Miracle Yankees. They play stupid, station to station baseball, and do all they can to avoid scoring, especially in the second half of the game. Now they hand Thornton away for nothing. Interesting management strategy.

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