Now it’s time to make him into a starter.
Pitching against the Chicago Cubs—making a spot-start replacing Josh Beckett—Morales went five innings. He allowed two earned runs on four hits while striking out nine and not allowing a Cub hitter to draw a walk.
He should’ve earned the win, but a few defensive miscues prevented that from happening.
Yesterday—again starting for Beckett—Morales was just as good against the Atlanta Braves. He picked up the win after pitching six innings of great baseball. He allowed three runs (two earned) on seven hits while walking one and striking out eight.
Morales’ combined statistics through two starts after coming out of the bullpen are: 1-0, 11 IP, 11 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 17 K.
It’s a small sample, but those numbers are better than two back-to-back starts by any other Red Sox pitcher this season.
Beckett could return sometime this week, but Boston just placed another starting pitcher on the disabled list in Clay Buchholz, according to the Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham. Even before putting Buchholz on the 15-day DL, Valentine already said that Morales would get another start, according to Comcast SportsNet New England’s Maureen Mullen.
Should Boston just make him a starting pitcher for the rest of the year?
The Boston starting rotation has been up, down and injured the entire season. There is still plenty of instability among the starters.
Beckett and Buchholz have both been injured and Jon Lester has been just okay this season, Felix Doubront has been a delight, Daisuke Matsuzaka is still trying to find his old form and Daniel Bard, well, you know what happened.
This, however, is not a Daniel Bard situation.
Bard was a planned transition that many people were involved with. They gave him a shot and it just didn’t work out. Morales was a spur of the moment action, trying to find someone who can toss a few innings until they figure things out going forward.
Morales has clearly exceeded any expectations and is proving that he can be a starter. He has the pitches to do it and he’s constantly keep hitters off-balance.
What else can you ask for?
Sure, Morales probably isn’t going to be able to go deep into games, but with the way the Boston bullpen has been over the last month or so, the Red Sox should be happy to get five or six solid innings out of him.
With all of the injuries and instability in the Boston Red Sox starting rotation, Franklin Morales is making things look easy. Boston should seriously consider keeping him in the rotation for as long as possible.