Seattle, WA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Aaron Cook (35) pitches to the Seattle Mariners during the 9th inning at Safeco Field. Boston defeated Seattle 5-0. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE
Don't worry -- Franklin Morales isn't hurt. The Red Sox just want to use him out of the bullpen on Wednesday night, if necessary, since, with Rich Hill on the disabled list and Morales starting, Miller is the lone lefty in the pen. As Aaron Cook threw just 81 pitches in his last start, a complete-game shutout of the Mariners on June 29, and Boston was using a six-man rotation until Daisuke Matsuzaka landed on the DL, Cook will ply his sinker trade against the Athletics in the series finale, rather than starting off against the Yankees in New York.
Boston has an off day on Thursday, so even if Morales throws an inning on Wednesday, he'll have time to recover before needing to make a start against the Yankees, especially with Josh Beckett opening the series against New York on Friday. Morales will be part of the doubleheader on Saturday, along with Felix Doubront.
That will be quite the test for Morales, who has been exceptional in his month in long relief and starting for the Red Sox, but has also faced relatively weak opponents. That's not to say the Yankees will crush him because he hasn't faced a real lineup, but his start against New York's powerful lineup might be a better indication of where to set your expectations for Morales, rather than his domination of mostly helpless opposition.