BOSTON -- The Red Sox have whittled their postseason roster options down by one, as manager Alex Cora announced on Wednesday that they have shut down right-hander Tyler Thornburg for the remainder of the season.
The reliever made 25 appearances this season for the big league club after working his way back from thoracic outlet syndrome, which sidelined him for the entire 2017 season.
"There's no need to push him hard," said Cora. "For us, we talked to him, we're happy with everything he did throughout the season and getting to the point that he was competing at this level. But his last few [appearances], as far as command, it wasn't there. He wasn't able to bounce back. So we decided to stay away from him."
Thornburg made 18 rehab appearances between Triple-A Pawtucket and Double-A Portland before rejoining Boston on July 6.
After being acquired by the Sox in a December 2016 trade, Thornburg threw 24 innings out of the 'pen this year, going 2-0 with a 5.63 ERA in his return.
Unwilling to push Thornburg any further, the club made the decision to pull the plug with five games remaining in the regular season, hopeful that a proper offseason opportunity will have Thornburg in prime position for 2019.
"It's kind of like, we've pushed it to the point that this is enough for the season," said Cora. "We feel that he's going to be OK, he's going to have a regular offseason and he should be fine next year. He's excited about that, although he's frustrated about this."
Nunez to return to lineup this weekend
Cora also announced on Wednesday that infielder Eduardo Nunez, who has been out of the lineup dealing with right leg discomfort since Sept. 20, will return to the lineup on Friday against the Yankees.
The Red Sox's plan is to have him serve as the designated hitter on Friday and then have him play third base in the regular-season finale on Sunday.
Nunez has been doing regular drill work, and he is scheduled to do some running between Wednesday's doubleheader games.
"He should be fine," said Cora. "As far as his swing, I'm not worried about it. I'm just worried about the repetitions in the infield."