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October 26, 2013

Workman has provided strong playoff work

The Cardinals have several young pitchers putting their talent on display this World Series and the Red Sox have one of their own, too.

Rookie right-hander Brandon Workman, who turned 25 in August, is coming into his own this postseason with 6.1 scoreless innings. He has become a bullpen arm who manager John Farrell can trust in higher leverage situations.

He also is a candidate to give the Red Sox two or three strong innings out of the bullpen in Game 4 tomorrow if Clay Buchholz leaves early because of his tired shoulder or ineffectiveness because of the fatigue.

Game 3 of the World Series, meanwhile, is tonight in St. Louis at 8:07 p.m. Red Sox right-hander Jake Peavy faces Cardinals righty Joe Kelly.

Workman started the year in Double-A Portland and worked his way to Boston by the second week of July. Since then, he’s been picking several of the Boston veteran pitchers’ brains.

“I’ve definitely tried to learn off their routines,” Workman said. “We’re all a little bit different off the mound. So how we attack hitters is a little bit different. But the preparation of some of the veterans. (John) Lackey, (Jon) Lester, guys in the bullpen, (Craig) Breslow, (Matt) Thornton, Koji (Uehara), those guys’ preparation. I’ve tried to kind of grab onto little bits and pieces from each one of them.”

Workman made three starts for Boston during the regular season, posting a 2.45 ERA (five earned runs in 18.1 innings). But he struggled after being moved to the bullpen when the Red Sox acquired Jake Peavy.

The rookie had an ugly 6.94 ERA (18 earned runs, 23.1 innings) in 17 relief outings.

He always had displayed such strong command. Baseball America ranked him as having the top control of any Red Sox minor league pitcher entering the 2012 season.

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