Brandon Workman walked through the Portland Sea Dogs’ clubhouse at Hadlock Field Tuesday afternoon, grabbing a pregame meal and ready to pitch that night. Those plans were canceled when the Sea Dogs-Altoona Curve doubleheader was postponed by rain.

Workman will likely pitch Wednesday, continuing his comeback.

With the Red Sox in contention, Workman hopes to get a call to the majors, pitch in the playoffs and, who knows, maybe appear in the deciding game for a World Series championship.

Hmmm. Seems like we’ve heard this story before.

Workman, who turned 28 on Saturday, last pitched for the Sea Dogs in 2013. That was the year he vaulted from minor league starter to Red Sox reliever at the end of the year. In the postseason, Workman allowed no earned runs in seven appearances, including a 1-2-3 eighth inning in the deciding Game 6 of the World Series at Fenway Park.

Quite a rush.


Now Workman wants to get back. He reported to Portland on Tuesday, on a rehab assignment as he continues his recovery from Tommy John surgery in June of last year.

“It’s definitely been a long process,” Workman said. “You hear 12 months (recovery time) and that’s what you set your sights on. It’s been a little bit longer than that.”

Workman initially came back in early July with an appearance in the Gulf Coast League and another in short-season Lowell. It would be a boost if Workman could pitch his way back and help a beleaguered Boston bullpen.

But in that Lowell outing on July 8, Workman suffered an oblique strain and he was sent back to Fort Myers, Florida, for medical treatment.

Reaching the majors this year is a longshot … but one that Workman is not giving up on.

“I still have (that goal),” he said. “Hopefully I can pitch well and, come September, see what happens.”


Workman returned to Lowell on Aug. 1 and made four appearances, working his way to three innings in his fourth outing on Aug. 11.

Next stop: Portland.

“I feel good right now,” he said. “The pitching is coming along. It’s getting a little sharper each time out. I just need to keep building off that.

“It’s been a year and a half since I’ve thrown a ball competitively. Getting the rust knocked off, getting into a rhythm out there, getting comfortable on the mound.”

It seems Workman has always been comfortable on the mound, from his days at Bowie (Texas) High School in 2007 (when he was drafted by the Phillies in the third round, but turned them down), to his three seasons at the University of Texas, before being drafted by Boston in the second round in 2010.

Workman reached Portland in 2012 and, the next year, was part of a celebrated starting foursome that included Matt Barnes, Anthony Ranaudo and Britton.


Britton and Workman reached Boston that year, and Workman stuck on the roster.

After his World Series fun, Workman returned to mostly starting in 2014. In 15 major league starts, he was 1-9 with a 5.36 ERA. The numbers were worse than his performance – 11 of his starts featured three earned runs or fewer – but Workman still seemed destine for relief work.

He didn’t get another chance. Workman began the 2015 season on the disabled list with a right elbow strain. Boston hoped Workman could avoid surgery, but he finally underwent Tommy John surgery in June.

Now he is working his way back. When healthy, Workman’s fastball averaged 91 with him topping 95 often. He also often threw a cutter and curveball, along with an occasional change-up.

In Lowell earlier this month, Workman said his fastball was around 90 mph.

“His fastball is coming along,” said Red Sox director of player development Ben Crockett. “His off-speed (pitches are) looking really good.”

If Workman can build up his arm strength, he could be a surprising option for Boston’s bullpen down the stretch. Why not? Workman has already been tested in high-pressure games.


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