Originally written on Fantasy Baseball 365  |  Last updated 11/1/14
Franklin Morales went 7 innings for the Red Sox last night and gave up only three hits against the Mariners. Yes, it was against the Mariners, but Morales has looked good in all three starts that he has made this year for the Red Sox. He has struck out 24 in only 18 innings and has been able to go further in each game that he has started. From a standpoint of get them while their pitching well, he is a must add. It may just go beyond that too.

The Red Sox currently have a six-man rotation with Josh Beckett returning from the disabled list and the team having a doubleheader before the All-Star break against the Yankees. Morales, Beckett, Jon Lester, Daisuke Matsuzaka (also flying under the radar with a 20 to 6 strikeout to walk rate), Aaron Cook, and Felix Doubront. At some point this group will eventually be rejoined by Clay Buchholz. It would appear that Cook and Morales would be the odd men out with this group. Cook has options to the minor leagues and from a stuff perspective doesn't offer as much as the others. Morales is the easiest to move to the bullpen because he is the only one that has pitched out of the bullpen this year.

From a numbers standpoing and from observing Morales' start, there are flaws in this logic. Nobody has been a number one or even a number two starter for the Red Sox this season. Among the 106 qualifying starting pitchers in the ERA leader board, the Red Sox starters are 63rd (Beckett), 80th (Lester), 83rd (Doubront), and 102nd (Buchholz). The Red Sox bullpen meanwhile is in the middle of the pack and could get better with Andrew Bailey, Rich Hill, and possibly Daniel Bard set to rejoin the pen at some point this summer. Of course there are future injuries to account for, but it would seem that Morales' arm is best used as a starter at the moment. And the way his mid-90s fastball is being mixed in with his curve, it makes sense that he was once considered a top ten prospect by Baseball America. 

  • Madison Bumgarner gave San Francisco the team's fourth shutout in four games by one-hitting the Reds. The torch is now passed to the Giants best pitcher this season, Matt Cain.
  • Trevor Bauer left after 4 innings in his much anticipated debut against the Braves. Bauer is optimistic he'll make his next start after straining his groin. Apparently the injury has flared up once already this season.
  • A day after writing about his slump, Chris Young delievered with the tie-breaking home run for the DBacks.
  • Andrew Cashner struck out 9 in his first start with the Padres. Monitor him closely or just pick him up since he's pitching in San Diego anyway. 
  • Bryce Harper is using his fame and weird PR story for a good cause.
  • The New York Times is reporting that Andy Pettitte will return August 28th at the earliest. That sounds like an opportunity to drop if he's clogging up a roster spot. 
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