Farrell: Set-up roles still a work in progress

Farrell: Set-up roles still a work in progress
September 12, 2013, 8:45 pm
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The Red Sox are discovering that Brandon Workman might not be the answer to their eighth-inning question.

(AP Photo)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- If there's a positional area of concern for the Red Sox over the final 2 1/2 weeks of the regular season, it's set-up relief, particularly from the right side.

The past few weeks, manager John Farrell and pitching coach Juan Nieves have held what are essentially open auditions for the role, looking at Junichi Tazawa, rookie Brandon Workman and others.

No one, however, has exactly seized the role. Workman wild-pitched the winning run home Sunday in New York, then allowed home runs in the the seventh and eighth innings Wednesday, forcing the Sox to win the game in the 10th inning.

Similarly, Tazawa, though he pitched a scoreless 10th Thursday, has been inconsistent for the past few weeks.

Asked Thursday who would handle the job going forward, Farrell said the team is still searching for the right combination.

"They'll be involved,'' said Farrell, "and on a given day what some are well-rested, whether it's [lefty Craig] Breslow or it's Junichi, any one of them, we're not hesitant to go to, as you've seen. And yet we've also taken the approach that if we're in a certain part of the order, we might look to match-up with every hitter.''

Farrell also indicated that he hasn't lost faith in Workman, despite a rough week when it comes to results.

"You look at [Wednesday] night,'' said Farrell, "with what Tampa did with the two runs scored, I thought that was some of the best stuff he's had all year. The two [mistakes] were highlighted in there, but he still gives you a tremendous amount of confidence, the way he attacks
hitters and the mound presence he shows, in addition to his stuff.''