Red Sox Nation shouldn’t worry about Brandon Workman’s poor outing
The Red Sox have their closer in Brandon Workman
Since the departure of Craig Kimbrel after the 2018 campaign, the Red Sox have been searching for a replacement. I know it hasn’t been long, but going into a season without that final nail in the coffin is a terrible plan. After a few years of mediocre results, something finally clicked for Boston’s new closer, Brandon Workman.
In 2018, he was still a reliever for the Sox but would post a strong 6-1 record through 41.1 innings with a 3.27 ERA. Pretty good numbers for someone who was just another arm out of the bullpen. Things got even better for the righty in 2019 as he assumed the role of closer after then-manager Alex Cora refused to fill the vacancy. A plan that would backfire big-time until Workman claimed the job through his efforts.
It really was an awful idea on the part of Cora. Seriously, when the hell has a closer by committee ever worked out? Matt Barnes and Ryan Brasier would also get their cracks at ending games but neither showed the reliability of Workman.
Last season saw him post an awesome 10-1 record with a 1.88 ERA in 71.2 innings. Oh yeah, he tallied 16 saves as well. Not bad for a guy that had no idea that he’d be the closer when the season began.
Now that the big Texan has earned the closing job for 2020, it’s time to go to work.
Red Sox Nation must trust in Brandon Workman
We’re just a week away from Opening Day and the Red Sox are looking as good as they can while playing intrasquad games. Well, pretty much everyone but Workman. The right-hander has been struggling during the rebooted summer camp and today was no different. In today’s clash with the, well, Red Sox, he gave up three hits and a run, not the sharpest of outings.
Even though he hasn’t been lights-out like some of Boston’s other pitchers in camp, we shouldn’t lose faith in him. If anything, I’d much rather he get these crap outings out of the way now while they don’t count. There won’t be a single bit of breathing room once the regular season starts and we need him doing the damn thing from the get-go.
I have faith in him as our closer this season and until he starts blowing saves, that confidence won’t wane. How could I just toss in the towel on the big-man? Dude came in with no notice and was one of, if not the best, closer in the second half of 2019. It feels like Ron Roenicke will also learn from his predecessor’s mistakes as well.
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If I had a chance to set the bullpen by middle relief pitchers would be Marcus Walden and Josh Taylor, followed by Matt Barnes and Ryan Brasier in the setup slot. Having these four in set roles going into the regular season will already give them an advantage over where they were last season. Also having those three, who were a trio of the Red Sox’s best relievers last year, will be a great lead-in for Workman.
This is all about the righty at the end of the night and why we shouldn’t worry if he stumbles. He was automatic in 2019 and I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt in 2020. He offers up a strong mix of heat with a dash of off-speed thanks to a strong four-seamer and a nasty circle change. It was that combo that kept hitters guessing last year to the tune of 104 strikeouts.
The Red Sox will need every weapon in their arsenal ready to rock and roll come July 24th. Yeah, they’re starting the season against the Orioles but we all know that trap games are a very real thing. However, just like in season’s past, the offense should be at the top of the league while the pitching could be the albatross around the neck of the Red Sox. With Brandon Workman holding down the bullpen at the end of the night, I think we’ll see far more wins, and far fewer blown saves in 2020.