Franklin Morales is on his way back to the bullpen as the Red Sox convert back to a five-man rotation with Clay Buchholz getting his scheduled start against the White Sox Thursday.
Morales has hardly earned his trip back to the bullpen. Putting up a 3.42 ERA as a starter with a K:BB of 3.9, Morales has been exceptional aside from his one bad start against the Yankees. With his ability to miss bats, his upside seems to good to pass up, but for now the Sox will do that in order to keep their rotation at five.
The deciding factor is likely Morales' ability to convert back to the pen for the rest of the year, and Aaron Cook's presumed inability to do so. The Sox are a bit thinner in the pen than they're used to this year with Atchison still missing, and frankly given Bobby V's proclivity for making quick pitching changes when it comes to the pen, there's a need for some depth there.
Still, it's a move that...grates. Morales seems to be too good of a starter to sit down when the rotation is struggling with mediocrity. In fact, the argument could be made that he was the standout of the bunch if you look past Aaron Cook's zero true outcomes run of excellence.
One has to imagine that this is not a permanent move, and that Morales will find himself back in a starting role come 2013 spring training at the latest. But for now the Sox are apparently choosing to live without.