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Franklin Morales, P, Boston Red Sox
This left-hander is still considered a fill-in, although the BoSox will use a six-man rotation to bring their first half to a close. Assuming that Josh Beckett (right shoulder inflammation) emerges just fine from his Saturday start, in his return from the disabled list, there's still the matter of who'll exit the rotation when Clay Buchholz (esophagitis) is ready.
To avoid unforgiving media scrutiny, Bobby Valentine may prefer that the situation takes care of itself, but the skipper will probably consider it a nice problem to have. This season, Morales is furthering his control breakthrough of 2011, when he was a full-time reliever, and has translated it to the rotation, where he initially resided as a member of the Colorado Rockies organization that once had very high hopes for him as a starter.
In 41 2/3 innings this year, Morales has gone 1-1 with a 2.59 ERA, a 9.50 K/9 and a 2.38 BB/9. In three starts (18 stanzas), he's 1-0 with just five runs (four earned) and three free passes allowed as well as 24 strikeouts. (Two of his three opponents in those starts were the Chicago Cubs and Seattle Mariners, FYI.) His pitch efficiency is much improved.
The hard-throwing southpaw has, impressively, learned to throw strikes consistently while registering the highest average fastball velocity of his career. This is how many believed that Morales could perform, although this destination at one time seemed a long way off, perhaps impossible to reach.
Bobby V is in no rush to remove his 26-year-old temp starter. For the kind of K commodity that Morales can be and as well as he's pitched, fantasy owners shouldn't be willing to wait to see how the manager resolves this situation. By then, it may be much more difficult to obtain Morales' services.
10-tm mixed: Watch
12-tm mixed: Acquire
15-tm mixed: Acquire
About Nicholas Minnix
Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.
The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.
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