Want Franklin Morales back in Boston's rotation? So does Boston. (Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-US PRESSWIRE)
[Update 3:20 pm] The Red Sox have acquired lefty Craig Breslow from the Diamondbacks. Ben Buchanan has more for you here.
Peter Gammons reports that the Boston Red Sox are looking for a lefty reliever to add to their bullpen, with CSNNE.com's Sean McAdam backing up the rumor. The reasoning behind it? In order to get Franklin Morales back into the rotation, instead of pairing him with Andrew Miller in the pen in order to have two southpaws at all times.
This would be huge for the Red Sox, as Morales was great once Boston stretched him out in relief in order to move him to start. In the 35 innings Morales tossed before returning to the pen in mid-July, he racked up 40 strikeouts against eight walks, allowed four homers, and posted a 2.57 ERA. Now, no one should be expecting ace-like ERA from him from here on out, but Morales provides the kind of upside in the rotation that has been lacking ever since the Daniel Bard experiment failed to pan out. The fact he's a former elite-level pitching prospect does bode well for him, though, especially since he's started to pitch in a way that resembles how prospect gurus used to dream about him.
All told with the Sox, the lefty Morales has thrown 89 innings with a 128 ERA+ and three times as many strikeouts as walks. Those numbers never happened for him in Colorado, but Boston and Fenway present a different environment, one much closer to sea level, and one he's succeeded in.
Whether the plan is to go back to a six-man rotation temporarily, or remove (the most likely candidate) Aaron Cook from things, isn't known at this stage. We'll keep you posted on whether Boston succeeds in their search for a new lefty reliever.