Franklin Morales: Starter or Reliever

The Red Sox pitching troubles have been well documented so far this season. But on Sunday night versus the Cubs they may have received a blessing in disguise. The original starter, Josh Beckett, had been placed on the DL. Someone needed to come out of the pen for a spot start. That someone ended up being Franklin Morales. Morales had a shaky first inning but after that pitched a pretty solid 5 innings. His final line looked like so,

5 IP 4 H 2 ER  9 K  0 BB  80 pitches, 65 strikes

A nice little outing. So much so the Red Sox have decided to give him another start on Saturday versus Atlanta.

It got me thinking, should the Red Sox keep Morales in the rotation, or should they send him back to the pen?

First let’s look at how Morales got to this point. Continue reading

Outfield Injury Bug Bites Again, But …

As one goes another returns.

On Tuesday the Boston Red Sox placed OF Scott Podsednik on the 15-day DL (retroactive to June 18) with a left groin injury. Fortunately reinforcements have arrived. Cody Ross has been activated from the DL and taken Podsednik’s roster spot. It’s good news for the Sox who are finally starting to get some of their injured starters back.

Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury both took batting practice today, although no timeline has been set for their returns.

It’s a tough break for Podsednik who was playing really well for the Sox. In 19 games with this season he was hitting .387 with a .409 on-base percentage and 6 stolen bases in 7 attempts. The injury couldn’t have come at a worse time for Podsednik personally. Continue reading

Injury Bug Bites Boston Again

The Boston Red Sox outfield is beginning to resemble an infirmary. Before their game on Sunday Night the Sox placed Ryan Sweeney on the 15-day DL with discomfort in his foot.

Currently the Red Sox are without (all outfielders) Carl Crawford, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jason Repko and Cody Ross. Crawford has missed the entire season.

Ellsbury only played in 7 games before getting injured.

Repko was a replacement for Ellsbury and separated his shoulder making a catch against the wall. He only played 5 games. Ross was having a solid season before fracturing his foot in the middle of May. Continue reading

Josh Beckett to Miss Next Start (Updated)

SP Josh Beckett has been scratched from his next scheduled start, on June 17, because of inflammation in his throwing (right) shoulder. Franklin Morales will start out of the bullpen in an emergency start against the Cubs in the series finale. The game will be broadcast on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball.

Shoulder and elbow injuries are never something you want associated with your pitchers and this is exactly what Beckett seems to be dealing with.

Bobby Valentine didn’t sound too concerned when discussing the severity of the injury saying it is “nothing serious”.

Valentine added “”He’ll be pitching again, that’s for sure.”

Conveniently Valentine did not say when.

It’s another blow to an already banged up Red Sox roster.

-Steven Hawkins

UPDATE – JUNE 16 – Josh Beckett was placed on the 15-day DL as a “precaution”. Neither Beckett nor team giving much indication as to the severity of the injury.

Bobby V would only say that if it were Game 1 of the World Series Beckett would be able to pitch.

Do The Red Sox Have a Legitimate Ace?

Pitching has been a concern for the Boston Red Sox all season. Despite the recent run of strong starts the pitching staff ranks 12th in the American League with a 4.40 ERA and 9th in WHIP (1.34). If Boston wants to move out of the basement of the American League East the pitching is going to need to continue to improve.

Going into play on June 13th the Red Sox starters have these stats (Daisuke Matsuzaka has only made 1 start this season and thus not included):

Stats displayed are ERA/WHIP/K/BB Ratio

Josh Beckett (4.14/1.15/3.29/1)

Jon Lester (4.47/1.36/2.48/1)

Clay Buchholz (5.38/1.53/1.67/1) Continue reading