screen-shot-2017-02-15-at-9-09-18-pmBy Katherine Fominykh 2/15/2017

Old, familiar faces are reporting to Fort Meyers, Florida this week for the Red Sox’s Spring Training, and not just Pablo Sandoval’s.

Reliever Brandon Workman hasn’t been seen in a Red Sox uniform since the end of 2014. The right-handed pitcher fell out of the roster after a season-ending Tommy John surgery in June 2015, and he took the whole of 2016 to recover and rebound.

Workman believes that he is ready for the mound again. The righty said to the Boston Globe, “I thought about getting back to that position, throwing the ball like that again and being in a big spot. Hopefully, I’m a lot closer to that than I was.”

Workman pitched well in the 2013 postseason, only allowing one unearned run as a reliever in 8 2/3 innings. In the regular season, on the other hand, was a spotty reliever at best. He carried a 4.97 ERA over the 2013 regular season over 41.2 innings, letting up five home runs.

The 28 year-old reliever has been putting in the effort to change since his injury. Last fall, he pitched 93 miles an hour in the Instructional League, and he’s looking to keep that speed coming into 2017.

Still, that hasn’t placated Workman’s expectations. “I have to earn a job coming out of spring training,” said the reliever. “That’s my goal, to work my way back to the position I had.”

As hard as he works in Florida, the Red Sox have no intention of starting the season with Workman on the roster. They plan to start him in the minors and analyze his arm until they’re confident in his abilities at a major league level.

Spending time in Pawtucket hasn’t dampened Workman’s hopes at another Major League shot.

“For the first time in a while, I’m able to be optimistic,” he said. “I’m finally in a position where I can have a say in what comes next with my performance.”