On the mound or on the mountain, Milwaukee Brewers Tyler Thornburg is scaling to the top

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Tyler Thornburg might start the season in the minors because he's versatile enough to bounce up and down and pitch in any spot he's needed. Not making the roster would disappoint him, but Thornburg won't let it keep him down for long.

After winning a spot in the Brewers bullpen out of spring training last year, Tyler Thornburg was a master on the mound. He only gave up one earned run in his first 14 and 2/3rd's innings.

The 26-year-old righthander retired 21 batters in a row from April 6th through 18th. But after pitching through elbow discomfort in June, Thornburg was placed on the disabled list June 7th.

Thornburg wound up being shut down for the rest of the season -- that was frustrating.

"I think the way the end of 2013 went, and then moving in to the beginning of 2014, felt like I really had things rolling as far as my career is concerned. And then to have something like that pop up and put a halt to that is really frustrating," said Thornburg.

Especially when Tyler Thornburg felt that he could have helped make a difference for his teammates during their epic collapse late last year.

Being a fan is no fun!

"That's one of the toughest things. You know, I was out here rehabbing trying to get it ready and trying to come back. And having to watch the games from our iPad in the hotel room was pretty tough. Especially considering you know, the September was and the way the season ended. It really makes you wish you could have been there that much more," said Thornburg.

It was a long road back but the humble, Charlotte, North Carolina native is healthy now -- and he's eager to take the ball whenever, and wherever needed.

"I kind of try to put the needs of the team first, regardless of where I am. I feel like I've done everything; I've started, I've pitched in late innings -- I've been the long guy. That's been the role of my career so far. One day that could change, but as of right now, the number one priority is the playoffs," said Thornburg.

FOX6 Sports' Tom Pipines asked Thornburg "Do you have to have a certain mindset, based on the different rolls that may vary day-to-day almost?"

Thornburg said "It actually is very tough. The further I've gotten into my career, it's helped me a little bit more because I've been able to do a little bit more of both. This year whatever role kind of comes at me I should be ready for it."

Baseball is Tyler Thornburg's passion. He climbed to the top of the mountain to get to the major leagues. He'll do it again after injury, and scaling heights. Nothing new to the right-hander.

"The first time I went, it was incredibly difficult. Going along and I heard it was a little bit tough. Then all of a sudden, turn the corner and it's going straight uphill -- and it's more like rock climbing than hiking," said Thornburg.

On the mound or on the mountain, Tyler Thornburg hopes to scale to the top.

When Thornburg isn't climbing mountains, he loves to hunt and fish.