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June 16, 2014

Workman showing he belongs in Boston's starting rotation (not 'pen) now and longterm

BOSTON — Minor league prospect rankings and projections are interesting to read, but don’t take them too seriously.

Red Sox righty Brandon Workman’s 2013 SoxProspects.com preview ended with the sentence: “While not a Top 10 prospect, he can further cement his status by proving a seventh or eighth inning reliever projection is within his reach.”

Flash forward approximately 14 and a half months. Workman — who the Red Sox drafted in 2010 with the compensation pick they received when Jason Bay signed with the New York Mets — has a 2.91 ERA in eight big league starts since making his major league debut last July 10.

He also has allowed three or fewer runs in all eight starts, which have all been 5.0 or more innings. That’s the second-longest such streak by a Red Sox pitcher to begin a career behind only Boo Ferriss’ nine starts of no more than three runs in 1945.

The Red Sox lost 3-2 in 11 innings to the Cleveland Indians here at Fenway Park yesterday but don’t blame Workman. He’s awesome.

Boston’s offense, on the other hand, is the farthest thing from awesome. Red Sox hitters stroked four hits in the first two innings but just two hits over the final nine innings. They also left eight men on base and were 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position. But what else is new? That’s been the story of 2014.

Workman hurled 6.0-plus innings, allowing two runs, both earned, on five hits and two walks while striking out seven batters.

His outing yesterday was yet another example of why he’ll be a major league starter longterm, not a reliever

And this bulldog needs to remain in the rotation the rest of this year, even when both Felix Doubront and Clay Buchholz return from the disabled list.

“We still have some time before those guys come back,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “Where not here to make a decision yet. But he (Workman) is certainly doing everything he possibly can to not only make a strong statement, but put us in a position to win each time he’s walked to the mound.”

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