Brandon Workman deserves more positive attention.
ESPN’s David Schoenfield on Tuesday named the Boston Red Sox relief pitcher as the team’s player “we should appreciate more” when Major League Baseball resumes play. Workman delivered a great season in 2019, with his work out of the bullpen representing one of the brightest spots in Boston’s otherwise disappointing campaign.
“Holy cow, where did this season come from? Workman went 10-1 with a 1.88 ERA while allowing just 29 hits in 71? innings,” Schoenfield wrote. “His .123 batting average allowed was the lowest ever by a pitcher with at least 60 innings, topping Craig Kimbrel’s .126 mark in 2012. In the year of the home run, Workman allowed just one, so his .166 slugging percentage was also the best ever. Given his win-loss record, this was one of the best relief seasons of all time. I have no idea if he can do it again.”
Workman, 31, made the Red Sox closer job his own last season after Boston declined to re-sign Kimbrel the previous offseason. Despite his impressive body of work in 2019, baseball writer Will Leitch ranked Workman just No. 17 last month on his list of MLB’s best closers.
If Workman extends that form into the new campaign, Leitch and other MLB experts will have no choice but to put more respect on the sixth-year hurler’s name.