Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe is reporting that Sunday's scheduled starter, Josh Beckett, is set to miss his start with shoulder inflammation. The Red Sox are planning to run baseline tests on him, according to manager Bobby Valentine, but they aren't concerned that this is a long-term issue.
Rest from having his turn in the rotation skipped, or the minimum 15 days on a disabled list stint, sound like the cure for what's ailing Beckett's shoulder.
Beckett has lost his last three starts, but that has more to do with a lack of offense than it does his pitching, as he's allowed just 10 runs in those 22 innings. He hasn't pitched like someone with an injury, so the Red Sox likely caught this inflammation before it could turn into something worse. We'll see, of course, but it's worth sitting him for a day to make sure he's healthy in the long run.
In his place, Franklin Morales will start. It's been a weird season for the left-handed Morales, as he began the year as a setup man, moved over to middle relief for a time, and has become something of the long man in place of Scott Atchison, since Atchison now pitches higher-leverage frames. Morales has shown some length in his last couple of appearances, throwing 7-1/3 innings with seven punch outs, no walks, two hits allowed, and just 88 pitches.
Morales used to start with the Rockies, but problems with his control and his offense-heavy environment kept that from being a successful endeavor. He has the repertoire for it, though, and seems to have taken a step forward with his command and control in the last two seasons, especially since leaving Colorado. It's unlikely Morales is any kind of real starting pitching depth for Boston, but you never know -- it wouldn't be the strangest thing to happen to a 27-year-old lefty with his stuff, and that would be a boost to the depth already on board, especially since Boston does not lack for relief options.