The Red Sox would have liked to avoid a situation in which Brandon Workman needed to be sent down to the minors, but between the trade for Jake Peavy, Workman's Tuesday start, and Wednesday's 15-inning contest, they had little choice but to make a move. That's why it's not surprising to see WEEI's Alex Speier reporting that Workman has been optioned back to Triple-A Pawtucket, albeit temporarily, in order for the Sox to clear room for Peavy on the roster.
Here's the thing: Workman isn't available out of the bullpen until Saturday at the earliest, but Peavy needs to claim a roster spot right this moment. Since the Red Sox haven't had a day off since last Thursday, and the bullpen threw eight innings on Wednesday, they are already down in terms of manpower without considering the fact that Workman is taking up a roster spot that's of little use for a few more days.
If there is an injury, Workman can come up before the standard 10-day waiting period, but if not, he'll be eligible to return to Boston on August 9, since he was reportedly optioned following Wednesday's contest. Given the way he's pitched, it's hard to think the Red Sox would do anything but recall him at the earliest possible moment.
Pedro Beato and Jose De La Torre are the only pitchers in the bullpen who did not work in Wednesday's 15-inning game, while Junichi Tazawa only threw an inning and nine pitches, so Boston is not totally without relief help for Thursday's series wrap-up with the Mariners. If Ryan Dempster can give them six-to-seven quality innings, they should be able to navigate the fallout from this extra innings contest easily. While Beato has been used in a somewhat standard one-inning fashion in the majors, he compiled 41 frames in just 25 appearances with Pawtucket -- he should have two innings in him if necessary. De La Torre is similarly stretched out for longer relief work, hence Workman going down rather than one of these two who have shuttled back-and-forth all year.
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