Workman's blues

The Gray Eagle

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Since he served his suspension, Workman has pitched 28.1 innings, and allowed 7 HRs and 13 walks with 20 Ks. In his 34.1 innings before the suspension, he had a 12/28 BB/K ratio with only 2 HRs allowed. 
 
He's taken the loss in every one of the 6 games that he's appeared in since, as his ERA has risen from 2.88 to 4.45. And he's actually been worse than that shows, as he has allowed 5 unearned runs since he's been back as well. He's allowed at least 4 runs in every start since he's been back, and couldn't get through the sixth inning in three of the least 4.
 
He has looked rattled and uncomfortable to me recently, and seems to not be paying much attention to baserunners. He seemed completely unflappable and focused last year as a rookie in the pennant race and postseason, but not so much lately. 
 
Did the suspension mess him up somehow? He seemed to be pretty locked in before that, but then has been bad since he came back. Or is this just a slump, a young pitcher struggling as they all do? Or was he just lucky last year and the beginning of this year and he's just not that good?
 
Should he be considered likely to be in next year's rotation? Is he more likely a middle reliever going forward? What's the deal?
 

JFS7

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Jul 21, 2005
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i was at his game in st louis. his fastball sat 88-89. may have hit 90-91 once or twice. no more than that. 
 
his decline speaks to an injury--i'm betting shoulder
 

Toe Nash

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JFS7 said:
i was at his game in st louis. his fastball sat 88-89. may have hit 90-91 once or twice. no more than that. 
 
his decline speaks to an injury--i'm betting shoulder
Yeah, his velo is down to this range according to the charts after sitting low-90s earlier when he was effective. I wouldn't write him off for next year or put him in the pen since he was effective earlier. Giving him a rest may be prudent. Hopefully there's no major injury.
 

Plympton91

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He was a reliever in college and I always thought the plan was to put him back in the bullpen. To me, that's where he's going to be an asset on a championship team. He's just not good enough to get around the order 3 times. The drop in velocity may just be the end of a long season, dog days, fatigue.
 

JFS7

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Plympton91 said:
He was a reliever in college and I always thought the plan was to put him back in the bullpen. To me, that's where he's going to be an asset on a championship team. He's just not good enough to get around the order 3 times. The drop in velocity may just be the end of a long season, dog days, fatigue.
 
end of a long season, dog days, fatigue.--i hope so
 

Bigpupp

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Plympton91 said:
He was a reliever in college and I always thought the plan was to put him back in the bullpen. To me, that's where he's going to be an asset on a championship team. He's just not good enough to get around the order 3 times. The drop in velocity may just be the end of a long season, dog days, fatigue.
He was a reliever as a freshman, but was a starter the rest of his college career. If his stuff plays up in the bullpen, they need to move him there, but I'm not sure it does enough to be more valuable than being a 5th starter/innings eater.
 

Gash Prex

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His FB velocity is steadily declining - down almost 2 mph in the last month and 3 mph over the beginning of the season.  The cutter is down too. 
 
http://www.brooksbaseball.net/velo.php?player=519443&time=month&startDate=03/30/2007&endDate=08/10/2014&s_type=2
 
Looking at the game charts he was in the low to mid 90's till june and now we are hitting 89
 
http://www.brooksbaseball.net/velo.php?player=519443&b_hand=-1&gFilt=&pFilt=FA|SI|FC|CU|SL|CS|KN|CH|FS|SB&time=game&minmax=ci&var=mph&s_type=2&startDate=03/30/2007&endDate=08/10/2014
 

mfried

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Bigpupp said:
He was a reliever as a freshman, but was a starter the rest of his college career. If his stuff plays up in the bullpen, they need to move him there, but I'm not sure it does enough to be more valuable than being a 5th starter/innings eater.
I will be depressed if Workman's role is anything more than mop up in obvious wins/losses.  The ceiling is not high.  If he's our 5th starter it will be a long 2015.
 

Bigpupp

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mfried said:
I will be depressed if Workman's role is anything more than mop up in obvious wins/losses.  The ceiling is not high.  If he's our 5th starter it will be a long 2015.
Well I didn't day I wanted him to be the Red Sox 5th starter, just that I think a team will get the most value out of him in that role.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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mfried said:
If he's our 5th starter it will be a long 2015.
 
This is silly. 5th starters are usually fringe-average-to-below-average pitchers, even for playoff teams. For all the troubles he's been having, Workman has a 4.71 FIP. That's bad, but of the 6 current division leaders, two (BAL and MIL) have guys with worse FIPs than that among their five GS leaders.
 
The Sox will not live and die next year by the performance of their 5th best starter.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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mfried said:
I will be depressed if Workman's role is anything more than mop up in obvious wins/losses.  The ceiling is not high.  If he's our 5th starter it will be a long 2015.
I keep forgetting you were in a coma in 2013* and missed his three quality starts (out of three, one on short rest), and strong work out if the bullpen during the postseason.

He has shown in the past that he has a higher ceiling than he has demonstrated this year.


*At least I think it was you in that coma. Apologies if I have you confused with someone else.
 

Granite Sox

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He is not a good major league starter.  
 
Teams scout pitchers as much as hitters, and Workman has not effectively adjusted to how teams are hitting/running against him.
 
I think the diminished velocity (tired arm/injury?) is exacerbating the issue.
 
Ceiling: 5th starter.  Most effective role: bullpen.
 
There are other young starters the Sox can/should get a read on at the major league level (Ed #1, Barnes, Ranaudo, Webster... perhaps even Owens, Ed #2 and/or Johnson in September) at this point in the season to see if they can leap over Workman's current performance level for 2015.
 
 
 

Drek717

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Bigpupp said:
Well I didn't day I wanted him to be the Red Sox 5th starter, just that I think a team will get the most value out of him in that role.
Um, who cares if some other team gets the most value of him as a 5th starter?
 
Not to pick on your posts in particular, but this notion keeps getting ran out there whenever a guy isn't looking like a future all-star in his current role with the Sox.  If they're a starter the argument that starters are worth more than relievers is always used for why it is better to trade them than move them to the 'pen.  When its a position player people would rather jettison the player instead of develop them into a secondary/supporting role while the team has the control to do just that.
 
It is analogous to how many people view Will Middlebrooks.  The frequent suggestion is to trade him this off-season for pennies on the dollar compared to what his ceiling is.  Instead why not have him learn to play LF and RF along with 3B and 1B, then let him be Nava's platoon partner in place of Gomes?  He's continued to hit LHP even with how poorly he's done at everything else each of the last two seasons.  So knowing that he can at least fill a known 25 man roster need at league minimum (one we've been paying $5M to fill) and has potential for much, much more why walk into a bad value exchange just to make a change of scenery happen?
 
Same goes with Workman.  He looks to be hitting a fatigue wall, so maybe now is the time to move him to the 'pen and see just how much his stuff plays up.  He might just be a valuable 7th inning guy who can go two when you need it, and if as that guy he can bring his FIP down into the low to mid 3's he's more valuable there to the Red Sox than as a mid-4's FIP starter they trade to someone else.
 
Total net value is an illusion in baseball because teams are trading based on their WAR projections.  They're trading based on dozens of other factors and you can't assume that Workman can be moved for every last bit of value he might actually be worth as a 5th starter.  There is also a very good chance the two values (him as a 5th starter versus a good reliever) are close enough to be negligible for a team with more than enough 5th starter alternatives.  Not to mention the potential for improvement/growth as he matures, which could see him become an elite reliever or move back to the rotation a la Lowe and Santana.  Some guys develop best getting to work against ML pitching in a limited role before trying to make it through the lineup 3+ times a game.
 
Moving him to the bullpen now would also be a great opportunity to let Steven Wright show what he's got going on with his knuckler too.  If we're looking for a low cost 5th starter I'd be more willing to roll with another knuckler as they can be innings horses, rarely get hurt, and when you find a knuckler who's got a feel for the pitch they can roll off a healthy number of quality starts.