John Farrell Likes Alexi Ogando, Robbie Ross Added To Red Sox Bullpen

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Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell is pleased with how the club’s bullpen has taken shape.

The Red Sox acquired left-hander Robbie Ross Jr. and right-hander Alexi Ogando last week, all but rounding out Boston’s relief corps. Both pitchers come with questions, but Farrell expects both to contribute in 2015.

“The expectation is to have a right-handed reliever who has had a lot of success late in the game, particularly against right-handed hitters,” Farrell told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford by phone Saturday afternoon when asked about Ogando. “He complements the other right-handers we have in our bullpen with that hard slider he has. The contrast of style and experience adds to a very good group.”

Ogando, who signed a one-year contract with Boston, has dealt with shoulder and elbow injuries the last two seasons. He was limited to 27 relief appearances in 2014, but he comes with a track record of major league success. The 31-year-old was an All-Star with the Texas Rangers in 2011.

Ogando worked out in front of several teams before signing with the Red Sox. According to Farrell, the five-year veteran hit 93 to 94 mph on the radar gun and appeared to have the power he had before enduring back-to-back injury plagued campaigns. Ogando is expected to throw a normal number of bullpens before arriving at spring training, and Farrell said the righty won’t have any special needs from a physical standpoint.

Ross, who was acquired from the Rangers in exchange for pitcher Anthony Ranaudo, is coming off a shaky season, but he, like Ogando, has been a valuable contributor in the past. The 25-year-old was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in 2012 and 2013 before bouncing back and forth between Texas’ bullpen and rotation last season.

“We’€™re going to put him back in the bullpen with his stuff having the chance to play up with better velocity and better late action,” Farrell told Bradford of Ross. “His first two years in the big leagues speaks to that role very well.

“What allows him to get right-handers out is that he has such a late cutter that guys don’€™t see that he can jam a righty and then he can make them give up on a cutter back on the outside corner with the backdoor. We just feel like it’s a better role for him in shorter stints.”

Farrell also confirmed Saturday that Brandon Workman will enter spring training as a reliever despite the pitcher’s desire to remain a starter. Workman likely will compete for a spot in a bullpen currently comprised of Ross, Ogando, Koji Uehara, Junichi Tazawa, Edward Mujica, Craig Breslow and Anthony Varvaro.

Thumbnail photo via Peter Aiken/USA TODAY Sports Images

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