Franklin Morales Must Be Moved Back To The Rotation
If the Red Sox have any plans of contending this season, the pitching is going to need to dramatically improve. The Red Sox have plenty of quantity among their pitching staff, but they need to cut through the brush a bit and get some more quality and one way to do that would be giving Franklin Morales the promotion from the bullpen to the rotation. Normally, it would seem that Jon Lester, Felix Doubront, Clay Buchholz, Josh Beckett, and Aaron Cook would be a pretty decent rotation. Four of those players have been All-Stars in their career, but this year, it’s just not working out.
With their contracts and morale issues, I don’t think that Lester and Beckett can be moved out of the rotation other than for a quick DL trip or the like. Buchholz has been great since a slow start and Doubront has been a pleasant surprise. That leaves Aaron Cook– who’s been pretty good since joining the rotation, putting up a 3.50 ERA– but tonight’s start against the Yankees is a good test to how he can handle the tougher teams in the AL.
The question remains if Morales would be an upgrade over Cook or not, and I think yes. Now, Cook has put up a very respectable 3.50 ERA– but in six starts, has only walked three batters and is the opposite of dominant. Morales has put up a 3.46 ERA total this year, and a 3.43 mark in his five starts. The main difference between the two is the strikeouts, though, as Morales struck out 31 in his 26.1 innings as a starter– compared to Cook’s 3 in 36 innings. It may be a very slight difference, but I think that Morales’s more dominant stuff would translate better into success against the toughest tests in the AL.
However, this difference wouldn’t be huge if the rest of the staff picked up the pace. Obviously, it would be nice to trade Josh Beckett and maybe Jon Lester, but chances are it’s not gonna happen. They need to move them to the bullpen, send them to the DL, or just hope that they revert to their old form. Morales’s great stuff and results could be a shot in the arm to this rotation, though. If the Red Sox could get a slight amount of value in a trade for Cook and thus were able to move Morales into the rotation, it would absolutely be worth it.