Biographical

Portrait of Matt Thornton

Matt Thornton PNationals

Nationals Player Cards | Nationals Team Audit | Nationals Depth Chart

2014 Rest-of-Season Projections (seasonal age 37)
IP ERA WHIP SO W L SV WARP
0.3 3.00 1.16 0 0 0 0 0.0
Birth Date9-15-1976
Height6' 6"
Weight235 lbs
Age38 years, 1 months, 6 days
BatsL
ThrowsL
1.72010
1.72011
0.52012
0.22013
0.32014
+proj
WARP Summary

Standard

YEAR TEAM AGE G GS IP IP-SP IP-RP W L SV BS QS BQS PA H R ER HR TB BB UBB HBP SO ERA FIP FRA VORP WARP
2004 SEA 27 19 1 32.7 5.0 27.7 1 2 0 0 0 0 148 30 15 15 2 44 25 24 0 30 4.13 4.41 4.51 5.5 0.5
2005 SEA 28 55 0 57.0 0.0 57.0 0 4 0 2 0 0 262 54 33 33 13 98 42 40 0 57 5.21 6.23 7.02 -6.4 -0.7
2006 CHA 29 63 0 54.0 0.0 54.0 5 3 2 4 0 0 227 46 20 20 5 70 21 17 1 49 3.33 3.80 3.94 13.3 1.3
2007 CHA 30 68 0 56.3 0.0 56.3 4 4 2 7 0 0 249 59 31 30 4 95 26 20 2 55 4.79 3.77 4.49 6.7 0.7
2008 CHA 31 74 0 67.3 0.0 67.3 5 3 1 5 0 0 268 48 20 20 5 70 19 17 2 77 2.67 2.78 3.28 15.1 1.5
2009 CHA 32 70 0 72.3 0.0 72.3 6 3 4 5 0 0 291 58 22 22 5 87 20 18 1 87 2.74 2.51 2.73 21.6 2.2
2010 CHA 33 61 0 60.7 0.0 60.7 5 4 8 3 0 0 239 41 18 18 3 61 20 15 2 81 2.67 2.11 2.75 16.6 1.7
2011 CHA 34 62 0 59.7 0.0 59.7 2 5 3 5 0 0 262 60 34 22 3 79 21 16 0 63 3.32 2.66 2.77 15.9 1.7
2012 CHA 35 74 0 65.0 0.0 65.0 4 10 3 5 0 0 266 63 27 25 4 92 17 13 3 53 3.46 3.14 4.41 5.1 0.5
2013 BOS 36 20 0 15.3 0.0 15.3 0 1 0 0 0 0 71 22 6 6 0 23 5 5 0 9 3.52 2.88 3.76 2.0 0.2
2013 CHA 36 40 0 28.0 0.0 28.0 0 3 0 2 0 0 116 25 14 12 4 41 10 9 2 21 3.86 4.72 4.51 -0.5 -0.1
2014 NYA 37 46 0 24.7 0.0 24.7 0 3 0 5 0 0 107 23 9 7 0 28 6 4 4 20 2.55 2.75 3.48 2.8 0.3
2014 WAS 37 18 0 11.3 0.0 11.3 1 0 0 1 0 0 45 10 0 0 0 11 2 2 1 8 0.00 2.48 4.02 0.2 0.0
Career6701604.35.0599.33345234400255153924923048799234200186103.433.393.9097.910.1

Advanced

'opp' stats - Quality of opponents faced - have been moved and are available only as OPP_QUAL in the Statistics reports now.
Minor league stats are currently shownClick to hide.
YEAR Team Lg G GS IP FRA FRA+ TAv oppAVG oppOBP oppSLG oppTAv BABIP PPF PVORP PWARP VORP WARP
1998 EVE A- 2 0 1.3 0.00 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
1999 WIS A 25 1 29.3 0.00 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
2000 WIS A 26 17 103.3 0.00 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
2001 SBR A+ 27 27 157.0 0.00 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
2002 SAN AA 12 12 62.0 0.00 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .277 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
2003 SBR A+ 2 2 9.0 0.00 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .368 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
2003 SAN AA 4 4 25.3 0.00 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .133 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
2003 TAC AAA 2 2 9.0 0.00 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .353 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
2003 Peo Wnt 11 0 13.7 0.00 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
2004 SEA MLB 19 1 32.7 4.51 112 .264 .267 .329 .428 .260 .308 102 5.5 0.5 5.5 0.5
2004 TAC AAA 16 15 83.0 0.00 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .332 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
2005 SEA MLB 55 0 57.0 7.02 47 .292 .262 .330 .429 .265 .273 97 -6.4 -0.7 -6.4 -0.7
2006 CHA MLB 63 0 54.0 3.94 129 .217 .275 .342 .440 .261 .272 112 13.3 1.3 13.3 1.3
2007 CHA MLB 68 0 56.3 4.49 110 .261 .270 .340 .420 .266 .340 102 7.2 0.7 6.7 0.7
2008 CHA MLB 74 0 67.3 3.28 133 .198 .269 .339 .418 .263 .261 104 15.1 1.5 15.1 1.5
2009 CHA MLB 70 0 72.3 2.73 147 .210 .270 .338 .429 .264 .298 106 21.6 2.2 21.6 2.2
2010 CHA MLB 61 0 60.7 2.75 144 .194 .260 .329 .413 .260 .286 111 16.6 1.7 16.6 1.7
2011 CHA MLB 62 0 59.7 2.77 140 .252 .259 .322 .394 .259 .326 104 15.9 1.7 15.9 1.7
2012 CHA MLB 74 0 65.0 4.41 106 .238 .257 .324 .412 .264 .317 106 5.1 0.5 5.1 0.5
2013 BOS MLB 20 0 15.3 3.76 114 .278 .258 .318 .407 .267 .386 101 2.0 0.2 2.0 0.2
2013 CHA MLB 40 0 28.0 4.51 94 .256 .250 .313 .407 .265 .266 99 -0.5 -0.1 -0.5 -0.1
2014 NYA MLB 46 0 24.7 3.48 118 .251 .244 .314 .383 .262 .299 102 2.8 0.3 2.8 0.3
2014 WAS MLB 18 0 11.3 4.02 98 .205 .245 .313 .368 .259 .294 99 0.2 0.0 0.2 0.0

Statistics For All Levels

Minor league stats are currently shownClick to hide.
Year Team Lg W L SV G GS IP H BB SO HR GB% BABIP H/9 BB/9 HR/9 K/9 WHIP ERA VORP WARP
1998 EVE A- 0 0 0 2 0 1.3 1 3 0 0 0% .000 6.9 20.8 0.0 0.0 3.08 27.69 0.0 0.0
1999 WIS A 0 0 1 25 1 29.3 39 25 34 1 0% .000 12.0 7.7 0.3 10.4 2.18 4.91 0.0 0.0
2000 WIS A 6 9 0 26 17 103.3 94 72 88 2 0% .000 8.2 6.3 0.2 7.7 1.61 4.01 0.0 0.0
2001 SBR A+ 14 7 0 27 27 157.0 126 60 192 9 0% .000 7.2 3.4 0.5 11.0 1.18 2.52 0.0 0.0
2002 SAN AA 1 5 0 12 12 62.0 52 29 44 3 0% .277 7.5 4.2 0.4 6.4 1.31 3.63 0.0 0.0
2003 TAC AAA 0 2 0 2 2 9.0 14 3 5 2 0% .353 14.0 3.0 2.0 5.0 1.89 8.00 0.0 0.0
2003 Peo Wnt 0 2 0 11 0 13.7 18 13 10 2 0% .000 11.8 8.5 1.3 6.6 2.26 9.20 0.0 0.0
2003 SBR A+ 0 0 0 2 2 9.0 9 4 14 2 0% .368 9.0 4.0 2.0 14.0 1.44 4.00 0.0 0.0
2003 SAN AA 3 0 0 4 4 25.3 8 9 18 0 0% .133 2.8 3.2 0.0 6.4 0.67 0.36 0.0 0.0
2004 TAC AAA 7 5 0 16 15 83.0 86 63 74 4 0% .332 9.3 6.8 0.4 8.0 1.80 5.42 0.0 0.0
2004 SEA MLB 1 2 0 19 1 32.7 30 25 30 2 41% .308 8.3 6.9 0.6 8.3 1.68 4.13 5.5 0.5
2005 SEA MLB 0 4 0 55 0 57.0 54 42 57 13 46% .273 8.5 6.6 2.1 9.0 1.68 5.21 -6.4 -0.7
2006 CHA MLB 5 3 2 63 0 54.0 46 21 49 5 50% .272 7.7 3.5 0.8 8.2 1.24 3.33 13.3 1.3
2007 CHA MLB 4 4 2 68 0 56.3 59 26 55 4 46% .340 9.4 4.2 0.6 8.8 1.51 4.79 6.7 0.7
2008 CHA MLB 5 3 1 74 0 67.3 48 19 77 5 54% .261 6.4 2.5 0.7 10.3 1.00 2.67 15.1 1.5
2009 CHA MLB 6 3 4 70 0 72.3 58 20 87 5 47% .298 7.2 2.5 0.6 10.8 1.08 2.74 21.6 2.2
2010 CHA MLB 5 4 8 61 0 60.7 41 20 81 3 41% .286 6.1 3.0 0.4 12.0 1.01 2.67 16.6 1.7
2011 CHA MLB 2 5 3 62 0 59.7 60 21 63 3 49% .326 9.1 3.2 0.5 9.5 1.36 3.32 15.9 1.7
2012 CHA MLB 4 10 3 74 0 65.0 63 17 53 4 55% .317 8.7 2.4 0.6 7.3 1.23 3.46 5.1 0.5
2013 BOS MLB 0 1 0 20 0 15.3 22 5 9 0 61% .386 12.9 2.9 0.0 5.3 1.76 3.52 2.0 0.2
2013 CHA MLB 0 3 0 40 0 28.0 25 10 21 4 45% .266 8.0 3.2 1.3 6.8 1.25 3.86 -0.5 -0.1
2014 WAS MLB 1 0 0 18 0 11.3 10 2 8 0 56% .294 7.9 1.6 0.0 6.4 1.06 0.00 0.2 0.0
2014 NYA MLB 0 3 0 46 0 24.7 23 6 20 0 57% .299 8.4 2.2 0.0 7.3 1.18 2.55 2.8 0.3

Plate Discipline

YEAR PITCHES ZONE_RT SWING_RT CONTACT_RT Z_SWING_RT O_SWING_RT Z_CONTACT_RT O_CONTACT_RT SW_STRK_RT
2008 1008 0.5526 0.5218 0.7357 0.6715 0.3370 0.7594 0.6776 0.2643
2009 1144 0.5385 0.5131 0.7479 0.6672 0.3333 0.8054 0.6136 0.2504
2010 954 0.5314 0.5304 0.7115 0.6963 0.3423 0.7592 0.6013 0.2885
2011 1033 0.5169 0.5111 0.7765 0.6592 0.3527 0.8324 0.6648 0.2216
2012 1002 0.5210 0.4700 0.8213 0.6303 0.2938 0.8602 0.7305 0.1787
2013 701 0.5078 0.4871 0.8358 0.6433 0.3246 0.9170 0.6696 0.1642
2014 629 0.4976 0.5262 0.8399 0.7412 0.3133 0.8707 0.7677 0.1601
Career64710.52620.50850.7750.66980.32930.82270.66910.2244

Injury History

Date On Date Off Transaction Days Games Side Body Part Injury Severity Surgery Date Reaggravation
2013-08-05 2013-08-25 15-DL 20 18 Right Abdomen Strain Oblique - -
2013-02-19 2013-02-24 Camp 5 0 Left Elbow Inflammation - -
2010-08-18 2010-09-03 15-DL 16 14 Left Forearm Soreness -
2010-05-25 2010-05-28 DTD 3 3 Left Upper Arm Soreness Triceps -
2008-02-28 2008-03-04 Camp 5 0 Left Elbow Soreness -
2006-04-14 2006-04-28 DTD 14 12 - Low Back Soreness - -
2003-08-15 2003-09-29 60-DL 45 41 Neck Recovery From Surgery Herniated Disc -
2003-06-24 2003-08-15 Minors 52 0 Neck Surgery Herniated Disc -
2003-04-01 2003-05-12 Minors 41 0 Left Elbow Recovery From Surgery Tommy John Surgery 2002-06-10
2002-06-05 2002-09-10 Minors 97 0 Left Elbow Surgery Tommy John Surgery 2002-06-10
2000-06-02 2000-06-23 Minors 21 0 Left Arm Tendonitis Triceps - -
1998-06-30 1998-09-05 Minors 67 0 Left Elbow Soreness - -

Compensation

Year Team Salary
2015 NYA $3,500,000
2014 NYA $3,500,000
2013 CHA $5,500,000
2012 CHA $5,500,000
2011 CHA $3,000,000
2010 CHA $2,250,000
2009 CHA $1,325,000
2008 CHA $875,000
2007 CHA $550,000
2006 CHA $355,000
2005 SEA $323,000
YearsDescriptionSalary
9 yrPrevious$19,678,000
2011Current$3,500,000
10 yrPvs + Cur$23,178,000
1 yrFuture$3,500,000
11 yrTotal$26,678,000

 

Service TimeAgentContract Status
9 y 129 dAdam Hubble2 years/$7M (2014-15)

Details
  • 2 years/$7M (2014-15). Signed by NY Yankees as a free agent 12/17/13. 14:$3.5M, 15:$3.5M. Claimed by Washington off waivers from NY Yankees 8/5/14.
  • 2 years/$12M (2012-13), plus 2014 club option. Signed extension with Chicago White Sox 3/6/11. 12:$5.5M, 13:$5.5M, 14:$6M club option ($1M buyout). Acquired by Boston in trade from Chicago White Sox 7/13/13. (White Sox pay $0.75M to Boston as part of the deal.) Boston declined 2014 option 11/2/13.
  • 3 years/$3.25M (2007-09), plus 2010-11 club options. Signed extension with Chicago White Sox 4/07. 07:$0.55M, 08:$0.875M, 09:$1.325M, 10:$2.25M club option, $0.25M buyout, 11:$3M club option $0.25M buyout. White Sox exercised '10 option 10/6/09 and '11 option 10/26/10.
  • 1 year/$0.425M (2007). Re-signed by Chicago White Sox 2/07.
  • 1 year/$0.355M (2006). Acquired by Chicago White Sox in trade from Seattle 3/06.
  • 1 year/$0.323M (2005). Re-signed by Seattle 2/05 (split contract paying $150,000 in minors).
  • 1 year/$0.3M (2004). Re-signed 2/04 (Split contract paying $90,000 in minors). Recalled 4/04, optioned 4/04, recalled 6/04, optioned to Triple-A 7/04, recalled 8/04.
  • 1 year (2003). Re-signed 1/03. Optioned to Triple-A 3/03.
  • 1 year (2002). Signed 2/02. Optioned to Double-A 3/02.
  • Drafted by Seattle 1998 (1-22) (Grand Valley State). $925,000 signing bonus.

2014 Preseason Forecast

Last Update: 3/11/2014 05:35 ET

PCT W L SV G GS IP H BB SO HR BABIP WHIP ERA FRA VORP WARP
90o 0 0 3 0 0 76.0 56 19 78 5 .261 0.98 2.16 2.34 0.0 0.0
80o 0 0 2 0 0 69.7 56 19 71 5 .277 1.06 2.51 2.73 0.0 0.0
70o 0 0 2 0 0 65.2 55 18 67 5 .287 1.12 2.78 3.02 0.0 0.0
60o 0 0 2 0 0 61.5 54 18 63 5 .297 1.18 3.00 3.26 0.0 0.0
50o 0 0 2 0 0 58.1 53 18 59 5 .306 1.23 3.22 3.5 0.0 0.0
40o 0 0 2 0 0 54.8 52 18 56 5 .314 1.28 3.44 3.74 0.0 0.0
30o 0 0 2 0 0 51.3 51 17 52 5 .324 1.33 3.67 3.99 0.0 0.0
20o 0 0 2 0 0 47.3 50 17 48 5 .334 1.40 3.96 4.3 0.0 0.0
10o 0 0 1 0 0 41.9 47 16 43 4 .349 1.50 4.35 4.73 0.0 0.0
Weighted Mean0020057.55217595.3031.213.193.470.00.0

Diagnostics

Breakout Rate Improve Rate Collapse Rate Attrition Rate MLB %
16% 36% 20% 9% 79%

Long-Term Forecast (Beyond the 2014 Projections)

Playing time estimates are based on performance, not Depth Charts.
Year Age W L SV G GS IP H BB SO HR GB% BABIP WHIP ERA FRA H/9 BB/9 K/9 HR/9 WARP
20153821147050461649548.3011.253.413.718.32.98.90.90.7
20163921138040401238448.3131.303.744.079.02.78.50.90.4
20174021138040401337448.3111.323.714.049.02.98.30.90.4
20184121133035361232348.3221.384.084.449.33.18.30.80.2
20194221132034361131448.3191.374.014.359.42.98.11.00.2
20204311128030321027348.3191.404.074.439.63.08.10.90.2
20214421130032341028348.3191.394.134.499.72.88.00.90.2
20224511129031331027348.3201.394.204.569.62.97.80.90.1
20234611129031331026348.3201.404.264.639.72.97.60.90.1

Upside By Year

2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 PEAK 5
1514.2712.47.16.255.7

Comparable Players (Similarity Index 72)

Rank Score Name Year Run Average Trend
1 87 Brian Fuentes 2013 0.00 DNP
2 86 Billy Wagner 2009 2.87
3 85 Salomon Torres 2009 0.00 DNP
4 84 Joe Nathan 2012 3.22
5 81 Buddy Groom 2003 5.36
6 80 Jay Howell 1993 2.47
7 80 Jason Isringhausen 2010 0.00 DNP
8 80 Randy Choate 2013 2.29
9 80 Trever Miller 2010 4.50
10 79 LaTroy Hawkins 2010 8.44
11 79 Joe Borowski 2008 7.56
12 78 Francisco Cordero 2012 8.01
13 78 Roberto Hernandez 2002 5.02
14 78 Scott Downs 2013 2.91
15 78 Jamey Wright 2012 4.66
16 77 Tom Gordon 2005 2.90
17 77 Mike Jackson 2002 3.27
18 77 Scott Atchison 2013 5.36
19 77 Rafael Betancourt 2012 2.97
20 76 Brendan Donnelly 2009 2.84
21 76 Ron Mahay 2008 3.76
22 76 Shawn Camp 2013 7.04
23 76 Kyle Farnsworth 2013 4.93
24 76 Mariano Rivera 2007 3.15
25 75 David Weathers 2007 3.82
26 75 J.C. Romero 2013 0.00 DNP
27 75 Dennis Lamp 1990 5.20
28 75 Bob Locker 1975 5.79 DNP
29 74 Joey Eischen 2007 0.00 DNP
30 74 Hisanori Takahashi 2012 5.90
31 74 Arthur Rhodes 2007 0.00 DNP
32 74 Al Worthington 1966 2.56
33 74 Gary Lavelle 1986 0.00 DNP
34 74 Hoyt Wilhelm 1960 4.22
35 73 Tim Worrell 2005 5.55
36 73 Scott Schoeneweis 2011 0.00 DNP
37 72 Julian Tavarez 2010 0.00 DNP
38 72 Stu Miller 1965 2.04
39 72 Mike Stanton 2004 3.86
40 72 Gene Garber 1985 3.79
41 72 Paul Assenmacher 1998 4.21
42 72 Takashi Saito 2007 1.40
43 72 Jim Brewer 1975 3.99 DNP
44 72 Rheal Cormier 2004 3.56
45 72 Matt Miller 2009 0.00 DNP
46 71 Jeff Nelson 2004 6.08
47 71 Dave Smith 1992 2.51
48 71 Hector Carrasco 2007 7.98
49 70 Scott Eyre 2009 1.80
50 70 Chris Hammond 2003 3.29
51 70 Ron Reed 1980 4.45
52 70 John Franco 1998 3.90
53 70 Roger Clemens 2000 4.14
54 70 Billy Taylor 1999 5.59
55 70 Koji Uehara 2012 1.75
56 70 Kevin Brown 2002 5.09
57 70 Kent Tekulve 1984 3.17
58 69 Al Reyes 2008 4.76
59 69 Tug McGraw 1982 4.54
60 69 Bobby Shantz 1963 3.18
61 69 Marv Grissom 1955 2.90
62 69 Rich Gossage 1989 3.41
63 69 Ryan Franklin 2010 3.46
64 69 Bob Gibson 1973 3.28
65 69 John Smoltz 2004 2.76
66 69 Steve Reed 2002 2.01
67 69 Bill Campbell 1986 4.20
68 68 Miguel Batista 2008 6.97
69 68 Larry Andersen 1990 2.16
70 68 Brian Sweeney 2011 0.00 DNP
71 68 Guillermo Mota 2011 3.81
72 68 Allie Reynolds 1954 3.81
73 68 Mike Timlin 2003 3.98
74 68 Chris Carpenter 2012 3.71
75 68 Steve Howe 1995 5.33
76 68 Ellis Kinder 1952 3.04
77 67 Jim Corsi 1999 4.58
78 67 Steve Farr 1994 6.99
79 67 Mike Marshall 1980 6.40
80 67 Dave Giusti 1977 4.31
81 67 Todd Williams 2008 0.00 DNP
82 67 Ted Abernathy 1970 3.36
83 67 Mike Magnante 2002 6.91
84 66 Andy Pettitte 2009 4.67
85 66 Derek Lowe 2010 4.09
86 66 Jose Contreras 2009 5.88
87 66 Mark Hendrickson 2011 5.73
88 65 Jamie Walker 2009 5.84
89 65 Joel Peralta 2013 3.91
90 65 Ron Villone 2007 4.25
91 65 Greg Maddux 2003 4.62
92 65 Bob Howry 2011 0.00 DNP
93 65 Alan Embree 2007 3.97
94 64 Tom Martin 2007 4.91
95 64 Dizzy Trout 1952 4.28
96 64 Mike DeJean 2008 0.00 DNP
97 64 Gaylord Perry 1976 3.34
98 64 Matt Herges 2007 3.33
99 64 Jamie Moyer 2000 5.96
100 64 Darren Oliver 2008 3.00

Platoon

SORT_FIELD PLATOON AVG OBP SLG TAv
10 vs L (Multi) .239 .283 .348 .223
11 vs R (Multi) .283 .359 .381 .262
18 Split (Multi) -.044 -.076 -.033 -.039
19 LgAvg (Multi) -.026 -.032 -.063 -.030
30 vs L (2013) .235 .267 .370 .221
31 vs R (2013) .333 .423 .405 .284
38 Split (2013) -.099 -.155 -.034 -.062
39 LgAvg (2013) -.025 -.031 -.062 -.029

BP Annual Player Comments

YearComment
2014 Due to publishing agreements, the 2014 player comments and team essays are only available in the Baseball Prospectus 2014 book (available in hardcopy, e-book, and Kindle).
2013 Following three straight seasons of allowing about one baserunner per inning, Thornton turned in his second just-okay season in a row last year. His velocity was down a tick, and throwing more strikes didn't make up for the resultant loss of strikeouts. Perhaps more significantly, his breaking pitch has slowed down enough that Brooks Baseball is now categorizing it as a curve instead of the wipeout slider he showed in the past. With no health problems, there's concern that Thornton's 2012 performance represents the pitcher he has become, with little chance of transforming back to previous levels of dominance.
2012 Sometimes itís not so much what you do, itís when you do it. If Thornton had set his alarm clock to start the season on April 24th, he would have held batters to a .235/.291/.289 line for the year, numbers that are perfectly consistent with his recent dominance. However, since Thornton struggled out of the gate, Sergio Santos was handed the key to the executive washroom and the title of Vice President for Ninth Inning Operations. Thatís not to say there wasnít some wobble in Thorntonís game, as his swinging strike rate dropped, but he still has more than enough stuff to work in high-leverage situations. With Santos now out of the picture, Thornton may get another chance to close, though handing him set-up duties would allow the Sox to plug in his heater whenever an emergency crops up.
2011 Despite a late-season stint on the DL as well as his not being a closer, Thornton nevertheless finished 10th in the majors in WXRL. After witnessing Jenks' failures and the Sox' Putz-ing around with an alternative, the power lefty has made it clear that he feels it's high time that he graduated to full-time closing, and depending on your conception of the job, he does have an argument in that he was 8-for-8 in ninth-inning save opportunities last season. The timing couldn't be any better for him if he does replace the Human Barrel in 2011, since Thornton is entering the last option year of an arbitration-avoiding agreement that ran five years for just $8 million, total. The Sox can keep affording big-ticket pickups because commitments such as that have helped to pave the way.
2010 One of baseball's hardest throwing left-handers, Thornton has put up back-to-back outstanding seasons, and with two years left on a contract that pays him $5.25 million, he's arguably the best bullpen bargain in baseball. Getting away from who has saved this, and who is a proven closer that, Thornton is a better pitcher on both a scouting and statistical level than Bobby Jenks, and while a reversal in roles might ruffle some feathers, it could also lead to more wins.
2009 As expected, Thornton rebounded nicely from his disappointing 2007 campaign. The numbers were pretty across the board. Lefties hit just .170/.256/.223 against him while righties failed to tally a 600 OPS. Just five of his pitches left the park. The catch is that a lot of that was powered by an abnormally low BABIP, just as his poor 2007 was dragged down by a .344 BABIP. He should settle in the middle in 2009, which should be enough for him to remain valuable.
2008 Once Don Cooper's prize reclamation project, Thornton endured a blend of cascading ill fortune and some perhaps interrelated bad luck last year. He was a bit hit-unlucky, but part of the problem was that he wasn't any good with men on base yet was the year's leading recipient of Ozzie Guillen's special brand of love, walking six men under orders. Subtract those six passes, and Thornton struck out a man per inning and three times as many as he walked. Pitchers who do that have value, and Thornton should bounce back.
2007 Thornton never had a large platoon split with the Mariners, but limited left-handed hitters to a .211/.253/.316 line last season with more aggressive use of his slider, which has an awful lot of lateral break. Like a lot of pitchers, he needs to get his fastball across to set up the breaking pitch, and so he tends toward all-or-nothing outings. If this profile sounds a lot like Neal Cotts, that`s because it is. Having fully assumed Cotts`s job, Thornton will likely take the Sox on that same roller coaster of fixation and frustration.
2006 Live fastball, nasty slider, a strikeout an inning in his first full year in the bigs--but yikes, check out the walks and homers! He`s another Mariners` 1st-round pick from a zillion years ago (1998) who looked like a prospect but never panned out. Lousy control was the main culprit, but he added 2002 Tommy John surgery and 2004 shoulder pain to gain his membership badge in the Mariners` scarred-up slingers` club. It`s hard to see Thornton suddenly finding the plate as he prepares to enter his 30s.
2005 Thornton's got a prospect-y aura around him that's totally unwarranted: He can't control the ball. We have no idea why he causes people to salivate so muchómaybe he has rabies, and bites them? Thornton, who had Tommy John surgery that cost him his 2002, developed shoulder pain in '04. He probably wanted to feel included.

BP Articles

Matt Thornton is referenced in the following articles.

BP Premium requires BP Premium access to view, BP Fantasy requires BP Premium or BP Fantasy access to view

  Title Author Date
The Week in Quotes: October 6-12th, 2014Nick Bacarella2014-10-13
The Week in Quotes: October 6-12th, 2014Nick Wheatley-Schaller2014-10-13
The Week in Quotes: October 6-12th, 2014Chris Mosch2014-10-13
This article requires BP Premium accessPlayoff Prospectus: Vogelsong Stymies, Williams Perplexes: NLDS Game FourMike Gianella2014-10-08
This article requires BP Premium accessPlayoff Prospectus: NLDS Preview: Nationals vs. GiantsMike Gianella2014-10-03
This article requires BP Premium accessPlayoff Prospectus: NLDS Preview: Nationals vs. GiantsDoug Thorburn2014-10-03
This article requires BP Premium accessWhat You Need to Know: September 12, 2014Chris Mosch2014-09-12
This article requires BP Premium accessWhat You Need to Know: September 9, 2014Daniel Rathman2014-09-09
This article requires BP Premium accessTransaction Analysis: Bo GoneTucker Blair2014-09-02
This article requires BP Premium accessTransaction Analysis: Bo GoneR.J. Anderson2014-09-02
This article requires BP Premium accessTransaction Analysis: Bo GoneMark Anderson2014-09-02
This article requires BP Premium accessTransaction Analysis: Cubs Page TurnerR.J. Anderson2014-08-11
This article requires BP Premium accessTransaction Analysis: Dietrich Without the DR.J. Anderson2014-06-06
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BP Chats

DateQuestionAnswer
2013-07-25 13:00:00 (link to chat)While I'm trying to get a handle on Rick Hahn as a trader, I was wondering what you thought of the respective hauls for Matt Thornton and Francisco Rodriguez. Given Thornton's declining ability, I was pleased to see the Sox get some salary relief and a prospect, but that haul needs to be contextualized in this particular market for relievers. Did Hahn do me proud in his first deadline deal? Thanks.
(GrinnellSteve from Iowa)
I wish I had a stronger opinion on the deals, but I really don't. They aren't that significant, and I don;t see enough to really evaluate Hahn as a deadline trader. (Jason Parks)
2012-03-06 13:00:00 (link to chat)Derek, Was it wise to draft Addison Reed with the last pick in my 5x5 and H2H league (I drafted two solid closers earlier in both drafts)? Will Reed start the season in the majors or, should I have taken a wait-and-see approach?
(JKries from Chicago)
Oh, he should start the season in the majors, but Matt Thornton appears to have the inside track on the closing gig. If it's a deep league he's fine to roster, especially with the last pick, but if we're looking at a 12-team mixed league and there are other closers on the wire, you may be able to do better than Reed. (Derek Carty)
2012-02-14 13:00:00 (link to chat)How quickly does Addison Reed get the closer gig for the Sox, mid-May?
(Tony from Chicago's Southside)
If Matt Thornton starts the year with the job, as Ventura has suggested, the best money is on 2013. Obviously it could happen sooner than that--closers lose their jobs every year--but a quality pitcher starting the year with the closer's role should be expected to keep it for the majority of the season. Of course Ventura is a huge wild card being a first-time manager with zero coaching experience, but I wouldn't bet on Reed getting it by mid-May. The best bets for him are either right out of the gate in April or, failing that, April of 2013. (Derek Carty)
2010-08-17 14:45:00 (link to chat)How would you approach the White Sox closer situation, both in the short term and 2011? Seems like there are some pretty useful assets, this weekend's implosion notwithstanding.
(ChuckR from Addison, IL)
Matt Thornton. Hands down. No questions. No ifs, ands or butts. (Eric Seidman)
2010-06-07 18:30:00 (link to chat)Kevin, was this a signability pick? Should we expect the Cubbies to take a guy with big money demands in the 2nd or 3rd ala Samardzija?
(J.P. from Chicago)
I don't know what it was. Just totally dying here on that one. Biggest first round shocker since Matt Thornton? Wow, as if the Rays needed a break here, they get the best high school hitter in the draft at 17. Teams with previous picks with regret this one. (Kevin Goldstein)


BP Roundtables

DateRoundtable NameComment
2010-07-13 16:30:00All-Star GameYou know how everyone snorted and chuckled last month when the Cubs took Hayden Simpson and the Yankees took Cito Culver? Well, in 1998, Matt Thornton was THAT guy. The 22nd pick in the draft out of tiny Grand Valley State in Michigan, NOBODY had him in the 1st-round mix that year, and here we are an he's an All-Star. That's why you can't get too worked up the day of. Man, I was too serious there for a second. (Kevin Goldstein)
2010-07-13 16:30:00All-Star GameMatt Thornton is warming and I'm officially giddy to be watching this. (Tommy Bennett)
 

PITCHf/x Pitcher Profile

A Collaboration between BrooksBaseball.net and Baseball Prospectus - Pitch classifications provided by Pitch Info LLC


Matt Thornton has thrown 7,114 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2007 and 2014, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season, the MLB Postseason, The World Baseball Classic and Spring Training. In 2014, he has relied primarily on his Fourseam Fastball (96mph) and Sinker (96mph), also mixing in a Change (90mph). He also rarely throws a Curve (84mph) and Slider (85mph).