FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Boston Red Sox spent the first half of the 2019 season without a reliever in a defined closer role, but interim manager Ron Roenicke does not have a similar plan for the 2020 season.
Roenicke said Wednesday that he envisions reliever Brandon Workman closing out games this season.
“I think with what he did last year, he deserves a shot to be the closer,” Roenicke said.
Workman, who entered camp as the favorite to close games out, ended 2019 15th among major league relievers with an average of 13.06 strikeouts per nine innings. He also posted a 1.88 ERA and a 2.1 fWAR, which was tied for fifth among qualified relievers.
Under Alex Cora, Boston entered 2019 with a bullpen-by-committee approach, but the team had transitioned into a more structured approach with their relievers by midseason.
As has become normal with the influx of analytics into the game. Roenicke said he doesn’t plan on locking in Workman only for the ninth inning, even with a formal closer title.
“I don’t think it has to be automatic, but I know mentally, these guys handle things better if they know what’s going on,” Roenicke said. “If I have a discussion with him earlier and say,…