By Jack Corsi – @jcorsi11
Every year, a team has a starter or two that struggles late in the season or postseason. So they’ll trot out a middle reliever for a handful of innings to give the other relievers a break. A perfect example of that is Andrew Miller last season; he was the horse that wouldn’t stop for the Tribe. I think lightning could strike in a bottle big time again, this time for the Sox. Their horse in the big middle innings race looks (and I hope it is) to be Brandon Workman. Workman is looking more and more that option this season after the lengthy hiatus he went through after recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Now I know the haters out there are probably saying, “Jack how the hell are you comparing Workman to Andrew Miller?” To those haters, I am not comparing, just using a name who was built into this role. Workman by no means is as accomolished as Miller, but he is pitching (in my opinion) pretty darn good thus far.
For this to pan out, Workman will need extended innings work over the next couple weeks. If Porcello is to struggle in the third inning of a start, throw Workman in the game to see if he can be extended through 3-4 innings of work. If the Sox can keep the game close, you can turn to Addison Reed or Craig Kimbrel in the last two innings. Workman has come in during some games that are out of reach and pitched effectively.
Why not pull the trigger with this then? Workman can be your workhorse out of the pen, especially with Carson Smith coming back from the DL, and possibly becoming the 7th inning guy. The playoff rotation looks like it will be Sale, Porcello, and Pomeranz with Doug Fister being the 4th man (maybe the starter game 1 if its Cleveland). So if one of the three struggle, you can throw Workman in, get those big middle innings down, and then have the 7-8-9 guys in there.
Workman the Workhorse. I like the sound of that. We just need him to stay consistent and dominant in the spots he is put in. Then I think the Red Sox might sniff the ALCS.