Thornton is expected to piggyback starter T.J. Zeuch in Sunday's game against the Yankees, Arden Zwelling of Sportsnet.ca reports.

Though Thornton missed out on a spot in the Blue Jays' Opening Day rotation, the coaching staff wants to keep him stretched out in the event the team's starting depth takes more hits as the season goes along. Since Zeuch maxed out at three innings over his four Grapefruit League outings, he likely won't be asked to work deep into his first start of the regular season, leaving the door open for Thornton to work as a bulk reliever. Zeuch isn't expected to make more than one turn through the rotation, so Thornton could transition into more of a multi-inning relief role after Sunday.

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