The 24-year-old took a no-hitter into the seventh inning at Oakland on July 14 in his first career start. He ended up being charged with two runs in 6 1/3 innings of a game the Sox would lose in 11 innings.
Boston shuffled its rotation after the All-Star break and continues to navigate the ever-changing Clay Buchholz situation. Workman showed enough in his last outing to remain in the mix for at least one more start.
“The one thing that he does is he throws a lot of strikes,” Farrell said. “Even in the first inning in Seattle [in relief July 10], he got squared up but he didn’t fear the strike zone. He didn’t start to walk people just because there was some loud contact. Went out and had a very good second inning. I think that second inning kind of set the ability to walk off the mound knowing he put up a zero and carried it into the game against Oakland.”
A second-round pick in 2010, Workman was 8-2 with a 3.21 ERA in 17 games (16 starts) between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket this year. He has yielded just six hits and one walk in 8 1/3 innings with Boston so far, exhibiting no confidence issues as he climbs the organizational ladder.
“I think that one thing that we’re learning, at least at the major league staff, is that this is a guy that’s got kind of a quiet confidence about him and doesn’t fear the setting in which he’s performing,” Farrell said.
In other pregame news:
* Right fielder Shane Victorino is back in the lineup after leaving Friday night’s contest with a left hamstring issue. It is the latest in a litany of physical issues for Victorino, who had one stint on the disabled list and has missed chunks of time here and there.
It’s quite evident that the hard-nosed Victorino will be dealing with one issue or another for the rest of the season. For now, he’s good enough to give it a go.
“He’s 100% of what he is,” Farrell said. “I think through yesterday’s meetings and conversations and exam with our therapist and training staff here, I think he’s gained some comfort level knowing that he’s not putting himself at further risk. There’s going to be discomfort and maybe varying levels of that. But all the work that’s being done and the place he’s in physically right now, he’s not jeopardizing that with any long-term type of injuries. There’s always risk for every player that walks on the field, but I think he’s gotten his arms around what he’s dealing with more thoroughly here.”
* Minutes before Farrell spoke, the Rays won for the 13th time in 14 games to pull within a game of Boston in the American League East. The four-game series that begins Monday should have more excitement than the weekend set against the New York Yankees.
“You certainly know that they’re winning a lot of games,” Farrell said. “How they do it, you know that they’re going to do it as they’ve done for years. They pitch well. Their starters have been very consistent. We’re not looking past tonight by any means. We knew coming out of the break that this second half was going to be a challenge and certainly the first 10 games based on who we play and where we play them. So first and foremost we’re looking at tonight.”
After Tampa Bay leaves town, the Sox continue their run of tough division opponents when they hit the road to take on third-place Baltimore.