Brandon Carlin Workman
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 4", Weight 195 lb.
- School University of Texas at Austin
- High School Bowie High School
- Debut July 10, 2013
Brandon Workman made the majors in 2013.
Workman was 9-4 with two saves, a 1.39 ERA, 110 strikeouts and 13 walks in 80 innings as a high school sophomore. His junior year, he was All-State after going 8-1 with a save, 0.94 ERA, 109 K in 67 IP and a .459 batting average. As a senior, he remained dominant (10-2, Sv, 0.81, 171 K, 12 BB in 76 IP; .481 AVG). He was named All-America by Louisville Slugger. The Philadelphia Phillies took him in the third round of the 2007 amateur draft but he opted for college instead.
Brandon went 5-2 with a save and a 5.06 ERA as a freshman at Texas. He had a 3-3, 3.44 record for the Wareham Gatemen of the Cape Cod League, fanning 67 in 55 innings. In the Cape Cod League All-Star Game, he struck out two batters in a 1-2-3 inning. He led the league in whiffs. He was 3-5 with a 3.48 ERA and 82 K in 75 IP as a sophomore, including a no-hitter against Penn State on March 1. He was not as sharp for the 2009 Gatemen (1-1, Sv, 5.06, 24 K in 21 1/3 IP). He had a perfect first inning in the Cape Cod League All-Star Game to get the win for the West. Baseball America named him the league's #7 prospect, between Jack Armstrong Jr. and Jesse Hahn.
His junior year of college, the Arlington native went 12-2 with a 3.35 ERA. He led the Big 12 Conference in wins, tied for first in complete games (4, tied with Cole Green) and shutouts (2) and was 5th in strikeouts (101). He made All-Conference, joining Barret Loux and Green as the starting pitchers; Loux was named the Big 12 Pitcher of the Year.
The Boston Red Sox took Workman in the 2nd round of the 2010 amateur draft, the 57th pick. He was their fourth selection, following Kolbrin Vitek, Bryce Brentz and Anthony Ranaudo. The scout was Jim Robinson. He was 6-7 with a 3.71 ERA for the 2011 Greenville Drive in his pro debut, finishing 10th in the South Atlantic League with 115 whiffs. Brandon split 2012 between the Salem Red Sox (7-7, 3.40) and Portland Sea Dogs (3-1, 3.96), with 130 strikeouts to 25 walks in 138 2/3 IP. He was 4th in the Carolina League in ERA (between Gus Schlosser and Keith Couch), 2nd in WHIP (1.09, .03 behind Kyle Hendricks) and second in opponent average (.244). For the year, he was 7th in the Red Sox chain in ERA, tied for second in strikeouts (with Henry Owens, 3 behind Brentz) and 4th in wins (behind Billy Buckner, Owens and Couch). He was named the Red Sox Minor League Pitcher of the Year.
The right-hander continued his rise in 2013. He opened with Portland and went 5-1 with a 3.43 ERA and 74 K in 65 2/3 IP. Promoted to the Pawtucket Red Sox, he had a 3-1, 2.80 record after six starts. The Red Sox then called him up when Alex Wilson went on the DL.
In his big league debut on July 10, 2013, Brandon relieved Felix Doubront with a 9-1 lead in the bottom of the 8th against the Seattle Mariners. He immediately made the game closer by serving up a home run to Brendan Ryan and back-to-back doubles to Dustin Ackley and Kendrys Morales. Kyle Seager lined out and Jason Bay struck out, but Justin Smoak doubled to cut it to 9-4. Workman got Michael Saunders swinging to end the inning. In the 9th, he was sharper, fanning Henry Blanco and Ryan with a line-out by Brad Miller in between. He was given his first start on July 14th against the Oakland Athletics and was outstanding, holding the AL West leaders hitless through 6 innings; in fact his only blemish during that stretch was a one-out walk to John Jaso in the 4th, but he was caught stealing as Josh Donaldson was called out on strikes. He allowed a lead-off single to Coco Crisp to break up the no-hit bid in the 7th, then allowed a two-run homer to Donaldson with one out and left with the score tied, 2-2. In 20 games (3 starts) for the Red Sox, Workman was 6-3 with a 4.97 ERA. He struck out 47 in 41 2/3 IP. He was very good in the postseason, allowing only one unearned run in 8 2/3 IP over 7 relief outings as Boston won the World Series. He got his first MLB plate appearance in the 9th inning of Game 3 of the Series, fanning against Trevor Rosenthal. In the bottom of the 9th, he allowed a one-out single to Yadier Molina and was relieved by Koji Uehara. He wound up taking the loss when the Cardinals scored on an error charged to 3B Will Middlebrooks when he committed obstruction on a baserunner.
In 2014, the Red Sox moved him to the starting rotation but he struggled to a 1-10 record with an ERA of 5.17 in 19 games, 15 of them starts. He was sent back to the minors while the Sox fell to the bottom of the standings, experiencing a bad hangover from the World Series win the previous year. It took a while for Brandon to make it back to the Show. He was a solid 7-1 for Pawtucket after his demotion, but then missed all of 2015 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He then pitched just 10 games in 2016, all in the minors, logging just 20 innings. By 2017, he was a full-time reliever and pitched well for Pawtucket, going 4-1, 1.55 in 18 games. That earned him a return ticket to Boston, where he continued to do well, going 1-1, 3.18 in 33 games. He again split his time between Pawtucket and Boston in 2018, going 2-1, 3.90 in 17 games in AAA, and 6-1, 3.27 in 47 games for the Red Sox who had one of the best seasons in team history. However, he was knocked around in the first two rounds of the postseason, giving up 5 runs in 1 inning over 3 appearances, and was not used in their World Series win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
In 2019, most of the Red Sox pitchers regressed after their outstanding championship season, but not Workman. He was one of the pillars of the bullpen, making 73 appearances with a record of 10-1 and 16 saves, most on the team, to go with an ERA of 1.88. He was back as the closer in 2020, but for a team that was struggling badly. He was successful in converting his first 4 save opportunities, but these were few and far between when the other pitchers on the staff were giving up runs by the bucketful. With the team heading nowhere, they began to entertain offers for some of their more interesting players, and he was among the first to go, joining fellow bullpen member Heath Hembree on August 21st to attempt to rescue the disaster area that was the Philadelphia Phillies bullpen. In return, the Red Sox received Nick Pivetta and Connor Seabold. The Red Sox clearly won the deal as Pivetta turned into a solid starting pitcher, while Brandon struggled badly with the Phils, seemingly catching whatever disease was affecting all of their relievers. In 14 games, he went 1-4, 6.92 in spite of recording 5 saves. He became a free agent after the season and signed with the Chicago Cubs for 2021 but was released after a poor month of April in which he went 0-2, 6.75 in 10 games. The Red Sox then picked him up again, but while he pitched somewhat better, he was still not very good, going 1-0, 4.95 in 19 games as the last member of what was otherwise quite a solid bullpen. On July 29th, he was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster when the Red Sox acquired OF Kyle Schwarber in a deadline trade.
- Won two World Series with the Boston Red Sox in 2013 and 2018 (he did not play in the 2018 World Series)