1. Brandon Workman
Brandon Workman was arguably the Boston Red Sox best pitcher last season. As a result, he ended up being the closer for most of the second half and pitched to decent peripherals for the Red Sox. In 2019, Workman would appear in 73 games, pitch 71 2/3 innings, to the tune of a 1.88 earned run average and 1.03 WHIP with 104 strikeouts, 16 saves and 15 holds.
Workman’s 2019 earned run average, WHIP, strikeouts, saves and holds would all be career bests. His innings pitched would be the highest since 2014, when he threw 87 innings. However, Workman would blow six saves on the year, leaving doubt as to whether he is best suited for the closer role.
The K/9 rate of Workman proves that he possesses the ability to get the strikeout in big spots. However, he is not the typical strikeout pitcher in major league baseball. Workman gets most of his strikeouts using softer breaking balls, rather than a blazing fastball. Given that he does not have the high heat to reach back and blow batters away, he may be better suited for a setup role.
That said, the peripherals and track record suggest that Workman could be a capable closer if the Red Sox choose to return him to the role. Boston may ultimately decide that their best option is to turn the ball over to the incumbent at the end of games and make Brandon Workman their closer in 2020.