Red Sox Bullpen: Analyzing four internal closer candidates

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 02: Brandon Workman #44 and Christian Vazquez #7 of the Boston Red Sox celebrate after defeating the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on June 02, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 02: Brandon Workman #44 and Christian Vazquez #7 of the Boston Red Sox celebrate after defeating the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on June 02, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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BOSTON, MA – OCTOBER 05: Brandon Workman #44 of the Boston Red Sox reacts after striking out Gleyber Torres #25 of the New York Yankees (not pictured) in the sixth inning of Game One of the American League Division Series at Fenway Park on October 5, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA – OCTOBER 05: Brandon Workman #44 of the Boston Red Sox reacts after striking out Gleyber Torres #25 of the New York Yankees (not pictured) in the sixth inning of Game One of the American League Division Series at Fenway Park on October 5, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Brandon Workman

As we all know by now, Workman was impressive in his break-out 2019. He took over as the Red Sox closer role and had one of the lowest ERA’s (1.88) in baseball. Entering the season as a depth-piece on Boston’s roster, he exited the season as a top arm in baseball.

The righty walked lots of batters in 2019 (5.7 BB/9), but made up for it in not allowing any hits (3.6 H/9). Because he walks so many batters and throws so many curveballs in the dirt, Brandon is better in a spot where he can start an inning clean. If he comes on with runners on base, there is a good chance they will advance on a ball in the dirt.

Proving he was effective in the closer role, Workman seems most likely out of all of the internal options to become the closer. Cora may want to try the closer-by-committee route once again in 2020, but it seems risky.

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In the sprint to the World Series in 2018, Kimbrel was always the anchor and traditional closer of the shaky bullpen. Now more than ever it seems like the Red Sox could use some stability. Until an external option such as Dellin Betances, Kirby Yates, or Will Harris are shaking their hand with Chaim Bloom, Workman should be regarded as Boston’s 2020 closer.