The Red Sox have received some good news in the injury department as Brandon Workman, who visited Dr. James Andrews (a renowned surgeon) on Wednesday, was facing Tommy John Surgery, which would have sidelined him for the rest of the season. Though he did avoid the season-ending surgery, though, receiving a plasma-rich platelet (PRP) injection to his throwing elbow, he will still miss much of the season and the Red Sox have set no timetable for his return.
Workman, who went 1-10 with a 5.17 ERA in 19 appearances (15 starts) last season, was going to transition to a full-time relief role this year. Throughout his brief major league career, Workman has actually been worse as a reliever (6.07 ERA in 29.2 innings) than a starter (4.82 ERA in 99.0 innings). However, that likely has more to do with a lack of comfort in that role than it does any longterm damnation of his skills.
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Workman opened the season on the disabled list, but otherwise would have been in the conversation to pick up one of Boston’s final bullpen spots. The Red Sox have a noticeable lack of depth in their bullpen, particularly in the long relief spot, which a former starter like Workman could ameliorate.
However, with no timetable set on his return and a premium on 40-man roster spots, it’s not out of the question that the Red Sox would transfer Workman to the 60-day disabled list. Even considering his major league experience, he is probably behind the other Red Sox pitching prospects (Brian Johnson, Henry Owens, Eduardo Rodriguez) in line for a promotion.
Still, obviously it’s great news to see anyone avoid a season-ending injury, even for a guy who is merely a depth piece. With Workman in the fold, the Red Sox do have a potentially solid reliever waiting in the wings. It’s tough to know when he’ll be ready to return to action, but it’s great news that he won’t have to go under the knife.