End of Week Starters Are Up in the Air As Rays’ Doubleheader Looms.
Once set in stone, the Sox starting five are in a state of turmoil thanks to a couple of doubleheaders and a chaotic 14-inning epic in Tampa.
Jun 10, 2013; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Franklin Morales (56) and catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia (39) congratulate each other after they beat the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. The Red Sox won 10-8 in 14 innings. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Franklin Morales had been scheduled, or at least rumored, to be the Sox starter on Wednesday, as Boston wraps up its set with Tampa Bay. Instead, Morales looks to be unable to pitch in that game. Thanks to a shaky performance from John Lackey and the bullpen last night, Morales was forced into mop up duty and performed admirably. Called into action late in the game, Morales threw two innings of one hit, shutout ball to pick up the win. This coming on the heels of a disastrous relief outing on Saturday when he allowed four runs on four walks and two hits, in only two-thirds of an inning.
Clay Buchholz meanwhile is now doubtful to make any kind of start this week. Buchholz had been slated to take the hill on Friday in Baltimore but thanks to continued irritation in his AC joint he will likely take a few more days off. Manager John Farrell and Buchholz have both acknowledged that the priority has to be getting Clay healthy before he throws another pitch.
May 27, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox pitcher Alfredo Aceves (91) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Unfortunately, last night’s epic win depleted the bullpen and as I said above, likely eliminated the possibility of Morales starting Wednesday. For Wednesday’s start, it is looking like someone may have to be recalled from the minors to fill in, likely either Allen Webster or Alfredo Aceves. The only problem is the Sox would be forced to find a way to squeeze them on to the roster, which could likely be done with some kind of phantom DL stint for someone, as the Sox probably wouldn’t want Buchholz out of commission for that long.
Morales could probably then take the ball on Friday if he doesn’t start on Wednesday, then presumably whoever the Sox call up for Wednesday’s start could start the other half of the double-header with Buchholz when the Rays come to town, assuming the Texan is healthy.