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Red Sox tell Franklin Morales to prepare as a starting pitcher

Dec 1, 2012, 5:47 PM EDT

Franklin Morales Getty Getty Images

Franklin Morales was used primarily out of the bullpen this past season, but new Red Sox manager John Farrell told Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe today that the current plan is for him to come into spring training as starting pitcher.

Morales had a 3.77 ERA and 76/30 K/BB ratio in 76 1/3 innings with the Red Sox this year before coming down with shoulder fatigue in late August. The 26-year-old southpaw enjoyed some success during a small sample in the starting rotation, posting a 4.14 ERA and 47/19 K/BB ratio in 45 2/3 innings over nine starts. Once considered one of the top pitching prospects in the game, it was his first stint as a starting pitcher since 2009 as a member of the Rockies.

As of now, the Red Sox have three locks for their rotation next season with Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz and Felix Doubront. John Lackey is coming off Tommy John surgery, but he should be in there too if he can avoid setbacks. The Red Sox would probably prefer to keep Morales in the bullpen, especially considering that he wore down toward the end of the season, so plans could change if they add a starting pitcher this offseason.

  1. bostonboy82 - Dec 1, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    In other words: “we have no plans of upgrading pitching in 2013. We’re okay keeping pitchers with higher than 4.56 ERA’s…’s really just details….the fans won’t notice”.

  2. uyf1950 - Dec 1, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    So let me get this straight. Right now the plan is for the Red Sox to go into the 2013 season with virtually the exact same starting rotation that they had in 2012. With the exception that Lackey is going to replace Dice K and a couple of other guys that filled in. A rotation that was for the most part pretty horrendous. Good luck with that.

    • theskinsman - Dec 1, 2012 at 8:17 PM

      ufy,for once I can’t disagree with a word you posted. Converting relief pitchers always works out so well…see joba, Bard, etc.
      If the team has no plans to field a competitive team, they might as well give every reliever an inning. sigh….

  3. bostonboy82 - Dec 1, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    My thoughts exactly 1950. Unreal.

  4. edelmanfanclub - Dec 1, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    That Green Monster is not friendly to lefties. So with 3 lefties in the rotation doesn’t sound very good. I don’t have a problem with the rotation as: Lester, Buccholz, Lackey, Doubront. We need bounce back year from Lester and Lackey to pitch like he did in 2010. As long as that happens and Doubront progresses. We should be ok, our 5th starter needs to be a RHP. Morales is not that bad. His FIP is higher than his ERA, which isn’t a good sign. But a side from his 2 starts vs the yankees and last start with LAA, he wasn’t a bad arm in the rotation. I’d prefer him in the bullpen though, since the only other lefty we have in there is Breslow. I think people are selling the Sox very short. Lester and Buccholz can still be stud pitchers, Doubront is young and if Lackey gives me anything under 4.50 ERA and 180+ IP i’ll be happy. Maybe Marcum as a 5th starter stopgap? Just spit balling.

    • uyf1950 - Dec 1, 2012 at 6:29 PM

      My friend that’s 3 of his 9 starts for Morales. The other games he started were against the Twins, Cubs, Indians, Rays and Seattle. not exactly powerhouses in the offensive department.

  5. bostonboy82 - Dec 1, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    When your team hasn’t made the playoffs in several years, there comes a time when you have to move on from “if’s, hopes of bounce back seasons and hopes of injury recoveries”. Management makes promises of big changes and this same old broken rotation isn’t cutting it.

    • trapper17 - Dec 1, 2012 at 8:20 PM

      Yes a man who has the same smarts as I do about baseball . The red sox keep blowing smoke up our collective you know what . They must be the most stupid team in history just look at what happened to bard . He was made a reliever for a reason . Just stop being cheap and go get a quality starter and get us back to the playoffs me for one is tired of watching the Yankees in it

  6. prosourcetalk - Dec 1, 2012 at 6:46 PM

    Ah crap, I forgot about Lackey

  7. ivoshoen - Dec 1, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    As I predicted. Expect no better than last or next to last place again this year. Fans are getting sick of it.

  8. drunkenhooliganism - Dec 1, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    There are KFC’s in Venezuela, so he should have plenty of prep time.

    • teaspoon1731 - Dec 2, 2012 at 2:29 PM

      still beating the fried chicken dead horse huh? you’re so cool man, just sooooo cool.

  9. cinkasnor - Dec 3, 2012 at 9:34 AM

    Most likely plan is to wait and see what Barnes, Webster and maybe De La Rosa got for 2014. After those three they have 5 or 6 other SP prospects to throw angainist the wall to see what sticks.

    Farrell will have a year to see if he can straighten out Lester, Buch and Bard. I think Lackey would be off the books, clearing 14 mil.

    Alot to be said for sitting still for a year and letting the kids play.

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