Injury Updates: Morales, Ross Close To Returning


A tiring Red Sox team is going to get a boost soon as two players that have spent much of the season on the disabled list will be returning to Boston before long. Franklin Morales missed nearly the first two months of the season with a back injury and after just six games with the Red Sox, he returned to the DL with a pectoralis strain and has been there ever since. David Ross has also spent a fair amount of time hurt in 2013: he spent some time on the 15-day DL in May after hurting his knee and in June, he was placed on the 60-day DL with a concussion. However, both players are on rehab assignment (Ross’s begins in Portland today) and should be back in Boston shortly.

June 22, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Franklin Morales (56) pitches in the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Injuries and small sample size will hopefully prove the main culprits to Morales’s slow start to the year. In his first six games, he posted a 7.30 ERA and walked 9 batters in 12.1 innings pitched. Morales has looked much stronger in his rehab assignment as he is yet to walk a batter and has only allowed a run through 5.1 innings between Portland and Pawtucket.

Ross’s presence has certainly been missed by the Red Sox. His absence forced them to recall Ryan Lavarnway, who has not been terrible offensively with a .250/.298/.365 slash line, but his defense has been awful. More importantly than that, however, is John Farrell‘s lack of confidence in Lavarnway, which has led to overworked Jarrod Saltalamacchia to the point of ineffectiveness. Ross was not great before his injury with a .185/.274/.400 slash line, but his .728 OPS against lefties allowed for a platoon partnership with Saltalamacchia.

It will likely be Lavarnway and Pedro Beato sent down to make room for Morales and Ross. Hopefully Ross’s presence as a solid backup will revitalize Saltalamacchia, who has gone .246/.292/.410 since the All-Star Break. Morales will add another powerful arm that can go multiple innings to the bullpen, joining Drake Britton, Brandon Workman, and Rubby de la Rosa. The two should add some life to a team that has shown a few struggles recently.