Up: Matt Barnes
Brandon Workman and his 0.75 ERA could easily have been in this spot, and he certainly deserves recognition for the outstanding work he turned in over the month of June, but we need to recognize another reliever who has been just as good over a longer period of time. Matt Barnes, once thought of as a future member of the Red Sox starting rotation, has reinvented himself as a dominant reliever and key member of the bullpen.
On the year, Barnes owns a 2.45 ERA, a 1.09 WHIP, and 50 strikeouts. Those numbers are mostly the result of his outings in May and June, but he’s been pretty darn good all year long. Two months ago, he really broke out his good stuff. He gave up just three runs in 12.2 innings, struck out 17 while walking just four. He didn’t miss a beat as June rolled around.
Last month, he made 11 appearances and allowed runs in just two of them. He pitched 11.2 innings, 9.2 of which were scoreless. Barnes also tallied 16 more strikeouts, giving him a total of 33 over the past two months and his past 34.1 innings. He should be celebrated for his consistency and reliability, two qualities that will prove invaluable in the high-pressure playoff innings he’s sure to see.