Workman has journeyman reliever written all over him, his stuff would bore the radar gun and while he was always effective sporting a career 4 era before this year he was never going to be a team’s closer or high leverage guy out of your bullpen. Then 2019 happened and may have saved his career as a MLB pitcher and as a part of the Red Sox organization. Let’s take a look why…
Normally when you see drastic changes in pitchers especially those who go from a high 3 ERA to a sub 2 ERA its guys that have always had “stuff” or prospects that have finally figured out how to pitch and leverage that mid-upper 90s fastball but Workman has never been that guy. In fact his average fastball hovers around 92mph which in today’s game is average at best. What Workman finally figured out this year though is that instead of using a fastball to setup his secondary offerings which is what most people are taught to do through their career he has begun to pitch backwards. What I mean by that is he is using his secondary pitches to set up his fastball. What this does is all the sudden that 92 mph fastballs looks 95 after you see a 80 mph curveball. Obviously a large part of that is being able to throw your secondary pitches for strikes but Workman has been able to do all of that and has become the closer for the defending champions and is having by far his best career to date. Here are the numbers to back that up. In 2019 Workman has already thrown 60% more curveballs and as many cutters as he did all of last year and what has happened is his BABIP on his fastball has gone from .279 last year to .217 this year and the BABIP on his curveball has gone from .385 last year to .179 this year and that’s on 60% more pitches! That is a massive difference, and to be honest one that will save your career.