With the Major League Baseball All-Star game on Tuesday and the season more than halfway over, it is time to check in on Bowie High School alumnus Brandon Workman.
While the Boston Red Sox have struggled to a 46-41 record following a year where they led the majors in wins with 108 on their way to the franchises ninth World Series, Workman has been a bright spot at the team’s weakest position.
The middle reliever has been so solid all year he is now splitting time with fellow relievers Ryan Braiser and Matt Barnes to form a closer by committee approach even though neither of them have worked as closers before.
As of July 5, his 41 appearances this season are tied for the seventh most appearances in the major leagues. He has a career low 1.85 ERA while striking out almost double the batters (54) than he walks (28). He has picked up eight wins and three saves as well.
Going back to last season fans were worried about the Red Sox bullpen. The team had superstar closer Craig Kimbrel and dynamite starters led by all-star Chris Sale, but the middle relief pitching seemed lacking for a team with World Series ambitions.
Workman completed his first full season last year after coming back from Tommy John surgery in 2015 and playing some in 2017.
He started last year in the minors and bounced to and from the majors a total of five times. He did well enough to make the team’s playoff roster. Workman performed well in the team’s playoff series against the rival New York Yankees, but a not so good performance in the American League Central Series against the Houston Astros led to Workman not pitching again during the team’s run to the World Series.
After signing a one year deal worth $1.15 million in the offseason, there were concerns about his fastball velocity during spring training this year as it dipped below 90 miles per hour for a spell. It eventually has gone back up into the low 90s, but his different approach throwing his curveball more often this season has led to his success.
To read the full story, pick up a copy of the weekend edition of the Bowie News.