The Red Sox are moving pitcher Franklin Morales back into the bullpen, after the lefty had turned in a 3.42 ERA in five starts.
The decision, according to Red Sox pitching coach Bob McClure, was a combination of factors, including the fact the 26-year-old Morales provides more versatility out of the bullpen than Aaron Cook, who has limited experience pitching in relief.
"The thinking kind of behind this is, one, he's left-handed and it's always better to have two or three left-handers down there. Two, he can come out of the 'pen and spot start in case somebody needs a breather. Not saying you want to do that very much, but it's kind of what the team needs right now," McClure said.
"I was in the exact same situation [with Milwaukee], and I understand exactly how he feels. Yet, he still has a job to do and he's good with that. He's a competitive and confident kid, and he's going to do whatever he can to help the team. I understand his position because he wants to start, and I did, too."
Moving Morales puts an end to the six-man rotation the Red Sox were utilizing coming out of the All-Star break. Since entering the rotation in mid-June, the lefty had pitched 26 1/3 innings, throwing as many as 109 pitches (June 28 in Seattle), while limiting opponents to a .220 batting average. He struck struck out 31 and walked eight with the team going 3-2 in his starts.
"It's a hard decision," McClure said. "That's the way baseball is sometimes. He's 26 and has a long career ahead of him. He's good with it. He wants to start, we know that. He's 26 and we think he has a future in him.
"It's so hard, not for the starting pitchers as much as it is for the bullpen, not having that other guy down there. You have one screwy or extra-inning game, you're screwed, and screwed for a while, too."
The Red Sox hope to keep Morales somewhat stretched out in case he needs to re-enter the rotation, with McClure suggesting appearances against lineups with a grouping of key left-handed hitters.
"I think you may have to in periods," he said. "You hope it's a little later in the game where there might be some left-handers coming up and say you're facing Minnesota and you're in the sixth and [Joe] Mauer, [Justin] Morneau and those guys are coming through and he can get you to the seventh or eighth. I think if you did that he could go right back into spot starting."
Morales said he is prepared to return to the bullpen, understanding the situation the Red Sox find themselves in.
"I feel fine," he said. "I have to do my thing [in the bullpen] and that's it. It's fine."
For more Red Sox news, go to the team page at weei.com/redsox.
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Jackie Mac joins the guys to discuss her thoughts on a possible mid-season tournament in the NBA, LeBron's return to Cleveland, trade rumors with the Celtics and Red Sox, and Darrelle Revis' contract situation.
Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston to talk about the Lebron James Saga, the possibility of Rajon Rondo being traded, and the future of Marcus Smart.
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More reaction from the Logan Mankins-Tim Wright trade.
The guys dicuss Johnny Football, Terrible Summer Movies, and John Rocker being on Survivor
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Michael Irvin talks about the final preseason game for the Patriots and the biggest storylines heading into the opening weekend.
We recap the summer's biggest sports stories leading into Labor Day Weekend.
Co-founder and chairman of the Boston Beer Company, Jim Koch, talks about his Sam Adams beer and the history of his brewery.
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Mut and Villani are talking about whether the Red Sox will give Jon Lester the type of contract he is looking for, or whether they might be shopping him with rumors of the Red Sox scouting Cole Hamels.
Fantasy Football Drafts are now happening every day, so Pete Davidson and Jim Hackett have you covered. The NFL season kicks off on Thursday night, so Pete and Jim get their final thoughts of some drafting strategies. They discuss their Auction draft from earlier in the week. Also, some big name players that smart drafters should avoid.
We know your Fantasy Football drafts are happening right now, so Jim Hackett and Pete Davidson are here to help. We know you’d never blow off work to draft right? Turn up the speakers! Our fantasy guys chat up Pete’s most recent article on WEEI.com that offers background on several players you can target late in drafts across multiple league sizes; covering upside players to grab in 8-team leagues, 10-team leagues, 12-team leagues and 14-team leagues. Jim and Pete will be back at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday morning on your radio dial, 93.7 FM, with more ammo for all this weekend’s drafters. Good luck!
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