Sometimes, you just have to admit things are not going well and move on.
That's exactly what the Red Sox should do with Tyler Thornburg--because things really are not going well with him.
The reliever the Red Sox sent Travis Shaw to the Milwaukee Brewers to get just hasn't produced for the team. He missed all of 2017 with an arm injury, struggled in 25 low leverage outings last season and this year, he's been even worse. Over 12 outings, he has allowed 12 runs in 12.2 innings (8.53 ERA). Keep in mind, he doesn't pitch in close games either. We are talking about low-leverage situations. These are appearances in blowouts, typically. Even so, he cannot get the job done.
So what's the point of him being there? That's a rhetorical question, of course. He doesn't serve much purpose. At this point, they might as well bring someone up from Pawtucket to do the same exact thing while building MLB experience. Couldn't Travis Lakins, who made his MLB debut two weeks ago and fired 2.1 scoreless innings, do the exact same thing only better? How about Trevor Kelly? Jenrry Mejia? Bobby Poyner? And Josh Smith is already up in the big leagues.
I get there's some utility to having depth and, to a degree, keeping Thornburg up and others down gives them more "depth". But who would seriously claim Thornburg off waivers if he were DFAd tomorrow? The answer might be nobody and he might be able to work out of this funk in AAA. Meanwhile, the Sox could get a more effective arm onto the big league roster--which is a good thing as well.
Make this happen, Red Sox. The Thornburg trade made sense at the time but ultimately, it's just not working out at the moment; they need to admit it already.