Last night’s 4-3 extra-inning loss was a disappointing one by many standards. Despite being tagged with the loss, however, Brandon Workman was not one of them. Workman had his second consecutive good relief appearance after some early struggles in the role and is beginning to look like a guy that could be a valuable swingman down the stretch. Workman currently has an ERA of 4.60, but his 3.52 FIP and 3.34 xFIP suggest that that mark is down to come down soon, as does his 3.88 K/BB ratio.
Relief has often been the role that scouts have predicted Workman to wind up in. It isn’t that he is incapable of being a starter– his 2.45 ERA, his 8.84 K/9, and his 1.96 BB/9 in an admittedly small sample size of 3 starts (18.1 innings) have dispelled that theory– it’s more that his mid 90′s fastball- hammer curve combination could play extremely well in relief.
That was proven last night as Workman’s fastball sat consistently at 94-96 mph, as opposed to the 89-92 range we are accustomed to seeing from his as a starter. Similarly, his curveball consistently baffled Blue Jays hitters as Workman racked up 4 strikeouts in his 3 innings of work. Workman may evolve into a deadly weapon in the back of the bullpen in a few years, or he might be a starter, but for now he has tremendous value as a longman.