Morales has yet to pitch this season after suffering a strained lower back during spring training and then pulling a pectoral muscle during his first rehab start. The lefty started on Thursday with the Red Sox AA affiliate, the Portland Seadogs. He threw five shutout innings, walking two and striking out three in that game, pitching to Boston’s rehabbing catcher David Ross, who returned to the team on Friday.
The Red Sox made a number of roster changes Friday, with three players leaving for the time being and three players rejoining the team.
Morales was one of the Red Sox most effective starters in limited work last season. He made nine starts with a 4.14 ERA for Boston last season moving back and forth between starting and relief for the struggling 2012 Sox. This season the Red Sox rotation has been significantly better, but recent struggles from lefty Felix Doubront have lead to speculation that Morales could replace him in the Boston rotation. However, according to Jenny Dell of NESN, the Red Sox plan to use Morales in the bullpen at this point.
Regardless of his role, Morales should provide the Red Sox with some additional depth and a valuable left-handed option. Morales has functioned as a late-inning reliever, worked in long relief and started in his time with Boston and he has been effective in all three roles.
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