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18.05.2019 03:44
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If not , he won’t be able to step up to a more important role."Obviously, Workman has been around for quite some time now. We all remember when he burst onto the scene in 2013 and was something of a key figure in that team’s World Series run. Expectations were high for him, but after an up-and-down 2014 he went down with an injury the following year that eventually resulted in Tommy John surgery. The righty has been a full-time reliever since that point, and he’s spent the last two seasons jumping between Pawtucket and Boston. That, of course, can’t happen in 2019 as he is out of minor-league options.Since returning to the majors, Workman has been an interesting pitcher whose reputation really relies on how one judges a starting pitcher. By pure results, he’s been really good and it’s hard to argue against him being the number three in this bullpen. In two partial seasons, he’s pitched to ERAs of 3.18 and 3.27. That’s good! And consistent! He’s also been consistent by FIP, though on the other end of the spectrum. His FIPs the last two years have been 4.47 and 4.45. By DRA, though, it’s been a tale of two entirely different years. In 2017, he was well above-average with a 3.68 DRA but in 2018 he was well below-average with a 6.21 DRA. The big different between the two years was in the control department. Two years ago he walked 2.5 batters per nine innings and 6.8 percent of his opponents compared to 3.5 per nine and 9.6 percent in 2018. Looking more broadly, the biggest issue for Workman through his entire career has been a lack of deception. He’s missed some bats at times, but he’s given up a ton of home runs (he’s never allowed fewer than 1.1 homers per nine innings) and has had issues with control in every year but 2017.Roster Projection 2.0Kim Klement-USA TODAY SportsLooking specifically at last season, you can see a clear lack of deception from his plate discipline numbers. By Baseball Prospectus’ numbers, Workman induced swings on just 25.6 percent of pitches out of the strike zone. To put that into context, 432 pitchers threw at least 600 pitches in 2018 and only 38 got swings at a lower rate on those pitches out of the zone. That puts Workman in the bottom ten percent of the league. To be fair to him, he had good success on those swings as his swinging strike rate there was in the top three percent of the league. If he wants to reach another level in the bullpen, though, and become a third late-inning arm this team desperately needs Sandy Koufax Jersey , he’s going to need to benefit more from that swinging strike rate. And if he’s going to do that, he needs to get batters to swing at more bad pitches, which again comes down to deception.It’s really not a mystery how this would help a pitcher, and just some improvement in this area could be a massive boost for Workman. Getting more swings out of the zone would lead to more strikes (even if he takes a step back from 2018 in terms of contact rate on pitches out of the zone, which is likely), which would obviously in turn lead to more strikeouts and fewer walks. Workman has struck out fewer than a batter per inning in each of the last two years, and it’s hard to be an effective reliever in today’s game like that. Perhaps most importantly, more swings on pitches out of the zone could be a big help in the home run department. Contact on those pitches are obviously worse, and even without contact it would help lead to Workman getting ahead in counts. More advantageous counts will then lead to more defensive hitters. If he can allow even a couple fewer homers per year, it would make a huge difference.Photo by Elsa/Getty ImagesThe issue here is that Workman made the adjustments last year that would ostensibly help lead to the changes we are talking about here. Specifically, he started throwing a lot fewer fastballs in 2018 and leaned more heavily on his curveball. Prior to last season, he had thrown his fastball at least half the time in every season, but that rate dropped below 40 percent in 2018. Conversely, his curveball rate was less than 25 percent in every season but in 2018 it jumped up to 37 percent. The problem was two-fold. For one thing, hitters not chasing his curveball enough, particularly on pitches below the zone. The other problem was with his third pitch, the cutter, which found itself with similar issues.As far as what needs to happen in 2019, Workman really has two paths he can take. The first is to just pound the strike zone more and hope that the improvement in walks will outweigh any increase in hard contact. The other is to work more on honing his secondaries and mixing his pitches more to get more swings out of the zone. In my estimation, his pure stuff isn’t good enough to make the first strategy works. To me, if Workman is going to take a step forward in his age-30 season , it’s going to be because he’s fooling more batters and moving closer to league-average in terms of swings out of the strike zone. I wouldn’t necessarily bet on it happening, but the Red Sox need someone to make a key adjustment in the bullpen, and Workman’s as good a bet as anyone. ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Before slipping into the baby costume that was part of rookie dress-up travel day for the late-surging Tampa Bay Rays, Ryan Yarbrough broke a record that had stood since the team’s first season 20 years ago.And Tommy Pham homered twice for the still playoff-hopeful Rays in another win for another sweep.A day after Blake Snell became the majors’ first 20-game winner in two years, the Rays used an “opener” for the 49th time this season. Yarbrough, the second of five pitchers, struck out six in four innings for his 15th victory as Tampa Bay completed a three-game sweep with a 9-3 win at Texas on Wednesday.“There’s a lot that he’s doing right, that’s pretty awesome,” manager Kevin Cash said of Yarbrough (15-5), who has started only six of his 36 games and broke the Rays rookie record for wins that had stood since their inaugural season in 1998.“He’s earned those. You’ve got to come in and you’ve got to pitch well to get a ‘W’ more times than not, and he’s done that,” Cash said. “Whether he’s started games or coming in after an opener, he’s really taking advantage of that role that we’ve asked him to pitch in.”The Rays (85-66), who have won 14 of their 17 games in September and have 11 remaining, stayed 5 1/2 games behind Oakland for the American League’s second wild card despite a record that would lead or share the lead in three divisions in baseball. But they are third in the AL East behind the 103-win Boston Red Sox and 93-win New York Yankees.“It’s really easy to look too much at the bigger picture,” said Matt Duffy, who had a two-run double. “In order to take care of win after win, and game after game, you have to focus on what’s right in front of you.”Tampa Bay’s record was the same as AL Central champion Cleveland, and better than that of NL East leader Atlanta and the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers.Jake Bauers had a two-run double and scored on Willy Adames‘ single in the second off lefty Yohander Mendez (2-2) to put the Rays ahead to stay at 3-0. Pham hit his 18th homer leading off the third Hyun-Jin Ryu Jersey , and Duffy’s double in the fourth made it 8-1.Pham went deep again in the eighth for his seventh career multihomer game, off 45-year-old Bartolo Colon, who was pitching in relief. It was Colon’s first appearance since his last start on Sept. 5.“I play this game to win, and I play it to have success,” said Pham, whose career-best 21-game on-base streak is the longest active in the AL. “That’s what’s been going on here. When you have that combination in the locker room, it’s always going to be good.”BELTRE MOVING UPAdrian Beltre hit his 13th homer of the season for the Rangers. It was the 475th of his career, matching Stan Musial and Willie Stargell for 30th on the all-time list.“I should be proud of that, and I am proud of that,” Beltre said. “Any time that you make a list with those guys’ names, you have accomplished something.”Beltre’s 1,698 RBIs are one shy of Jim Thome for 23rd. Beltre also had a double and is 15th with his 3,159 career hits, 25 behind Cal Ripken Jr.STREAKS AND SWEEPSThe Rays clinched their fourth sweep in nine series since Aug. 20, and their 12th series sweep of the season matched a club record. Tampa Bay has also won five consecutive games, the seventh time this season it won at least that many games in a row.FINALLY SCOREDTampa Bay posted shutout victories in the first two games of the series. The Rangers ended a season-long scoreless drought of 23 innings in the third when Carlos Tocci singled and scored on Elvis Andrus‘ two-out single.TRAINER’S ROOMRays: C Jesus Sucre started but didn’t finish the game. He has a sore left foot after fouling a ball off it Tuesday. “We’ll probably rest him for a day or two and see how he responds,” Cash said.Rangers: Relievers Matt Bush (partial tear of UCL in right elbow) and Austin Bibens-Dirkx (torn cartilage right knee) had surgery Wednesday. Busch will miss the first half of the 2019 season. Bibens-Dirkx is expected to be ready for spring training.UP NEXTRays: Tampa Bay starts its final road series Thursday night with the first of four games at Toronto.Rangers: After their last scheduled off day of the season Thursday, the Rangers open their final home series against Seattle on Friday night.

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