Opportunity is knocking at Brandon Workman‘s door.
After two strong starts against Oakland and Tampa Bay to start his major league career, Workman now has a chance to play a big role in the Red Sox rotation for at least the next few weeks.
With all the uncertainty surrounding when (if?) Clay Buchholz will return to the Sox rotation, it appears Workman will be the guy asked to step up and fill the void. If he pitches as he did in his first two starts, the Red Sox will be in very good hands until Buchholz returns.
For Workman, success in this role would mean important innings down the stretch and possibly into the playoffs and a probable serious look as a member of next season’s starting rotation. He has the chance to make a name for himself as the newest phenom to arrive from the Sox’ deep farm system.
That it comes at the expense of Buchholz being sidelined is unfortunate. But to paraphrase an old saying, “one man’s misfortune is another man’s opportunity.”
Workman rising to the occasion would be a godsend for GM Ben Cherington because it would mean he would not have to part with prospects to acquire a stop gap starter to fill out the rotation the rest of the season should Buchholz not return.
Having cost controlled, young pitchers pitching at a high level are a precious commodity in baseball. You can never have enough of them and if they excel they give a team so much flexibility within their organization regardless of what moves they have to make.
Similar to Jonathan Papelbon a few years ago, Workman was recalled mainly because of need and quickly jumped into the mix by performing well in his given role. An encore of the Papelbon experiment would be just what the Red Sox need right now.
Workman is next scheduled to start Saturday in Baltimore against the Orioles. It will be interesting to see how well he seizes the opportunity to become a permanent member of the major league roster. A good start at Camden Yards and he will be well on his way.