John Farrell had the possibilities of Sunday’s starting pitcher down to three two days ago. Steven Wright‘s name was crossed off that list after he pitched 5.2 scoreless innings out of the bullpen on that day. Farrell then awoke to common sense and realized that Drake Britton is not yet cut out to start a major league game after one Triple-A start where he got shelled. Thus, it will be Brandon Workman getting the start in Oakland on Sunday, his first major league start and second appearance.
Workman has never been especially highly regarded as a prospect, but he has always been top 20 material and he has always performed well. His 3.71 ERA at Greenville in 2011 is the highest of his career, and this year he has been phenomenal between Portland and Pawtucket. Between 11 games with Portland and 6 with Pawtucket, he has a 3.21 ERA, 9.62 K/9, and 2.67 BB/9. Surprisingly, he has been even better in an admittedly short sample size in Pawtucket than he was in Portland.
He was not overly good in his first major league appearance. He allowed 3 earned runs in a 2 inning period, though he did strike out 4 batters and threw a scoreless second inning. If I were Farrell, I may have turned to Rubby de la Rosa to start this game. However, of the names he picked, Workman is certainly the most deserving and we wish him luck in his first MLB start.