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At last, Tyler Thornburg will have a chance to show what he can do for Red Sox

Tyler Thornburg (center) is in his sixth MLB season.John Minchillo/AP

WASHINGTON — Tyler Thornburg is finally on the Red Sox roster, roughly 19 months after they traded for him.

The righthander will be available out of the bullpen when the Sox play the Washington Nationals at 11:05 a.m. on Wednesday. Thornburg was activated off the disabled list before the game and righthander William Cuevas was optioned to Triple A Pawtucket.

Thornburg was one of the best relievers in baseball for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2016. He had a 2.15 earned run average in 67 games and averaged 12.1 strikeouts per nine innings.

The Red Sox sent infielder Travis Shaw and three prospects to Milwaukee on Dec. 6, 2016 to get Thornburg. At the time, it seemed like a good move.


Thornburg reported to spring training in 2017 with shoulder pain and it led to season-ending thoracic outlet surgery on June 16. The procedure involved removing part of a rib to ease nerve pain.

Thornburg pitched in 18 minor league games this season with varied results before the Sox decided he was ready.

“It’s one of those things where sometimes it felt like it was never going to get here and other times it felt like it was right around the corner,” Thornburg said on Tuesday night. “I feel like I’ve waiting long enough.”

Shaw has hit .262 with 45 home runs and 149 RBIs in 223 games for Milwaukee and for now the trade appears to be a colossal bust for the Sox and president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski.

But now Thornburg will get a chance to show what he can do.

Thornburg has No. 47, the same number Shaw wore in Boston.

Peter Abraham can be reached at pabraham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.