The Red Sox have finalized their 25-man roster for Opening Day, retaining Brandon Workman to fill the vacancy in the bullpen left by the injured Craig Breslow.
Going purely on quality, Workman was the obvious choice to fill in for Breslow. After initially struggling when converted to the bullpen in late 2013, Workman eventually found his groove at the most important time, providing 8.2 scoreless innings in October. Given that starting pitchers generally don't go quite as deep into games in April, Workman's role as the last middle reliever was important enough for the Sox to simply put their best foot forward.
That being said, keeping Workman on as a relief arm does not come without risks. The right-handed Texan represents excellent protection against a long-term injury in the rotation, and while it's true that the Red Sox are remarkably well-prepared to deal with such an event, Workman is the most reliable of their options by a fair bit. The Sox could try to keep him ready by focusing on long relief, but if events conspire to force Workman into a role of everyday availability in the bullpen and something goes wrong with one of the starters, the Sox will wish they still had him stretched out, with Drake Britton filling in for Breslow instead.
Hopefully, however, that is a bridge the Red Sox will never have to cross, leaving Workman ample time to return to starting whenever the bullpen can do without him.
As for the full roster, here they are, your 2014 Boston Red Sox: