When a player does good in a small role, then everyone wants them to play a bigger role because they seem to think that would equate to success in an everyday role. This is why people wanted Brock Holt in the Red Sox starting lineup on a regular basis in 2014 and 2015 when he was a part-time player. But now we know that’s not that good of an idea.
Sometimes it works. Sometimes it does not. Now the Brandon Workman thing is an interesting one. If you were to look up his name on Twitter, there’d be a lot of “he should be pitching right now” and all that funk and jazz.
It makes sense, I guess. Addison Reed has made a terrible first impression. And then there’s Workman, who has a 1.57 ERA in 16 outings spanning 23 innings. That’s right. He’s the new guy to the bullpen despite albeit he has been on the 40-man roster the sixth longest of anyone else on the team. He hadn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2014 and even then, he was an incompetent starting pitcher one year removed from a lackluster regular season (the postseason was less than 10 innings).
A lot of times people are excited by what’s shiny and new (to them). That’s where the Sandy Leon cult following came from last year. That’s why people loved Brock Holt, Daniel Nava, Pedro Ciriaco, Tzu-Wei Lin etc, etc, etc.
Workman’s velocity is about 95-96 at most, but he has yet to really prove he can handle high leverage MLB relief outings and he is being judged based off a small sampling. He hadn’t pitched in a couple years, so the league hadn’t seen him in a couple of years, just saying.
There’s no doubt Workman can be a serviceable reliever for the Red Sox, but he might end up being more of a Heath Hembree kind of a guy. Opposing left-handed batters are hitting .294 off of him, so Workman would need to prove he can handle left-handed batters in order to take on a bigger role. Otherwise, he’s just a specialist as a former second round draft pick.