Boston Red Sox left-handed reliever Franklin Morales received an injection for a bulging disk in his back and has been listed as out indefinitely by the team, according to Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe.
Prior to the news, it was already evident that the left-hander was likely to start the season on the disabled list. He had been hampered by a lower back injury that has now been diagnosed as the bulging disk. After making initial progress during his recovery, Morales "plateaued a little bit," according to manager John Farrell.
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Morales was used both as a starter and reliever last season. Over 37 appearances -- including nine starts -- the 27-year-old maintained an ERA of 3.77 with a strikeout-to-walk ratio (SO/BB) of 2.53. In six seasons in the majors the southpaw has maintained a career ERA of 4.36 with 1.74 SO/BB.
Beyond Morales, fellow left-handed reliever Craig Breslow is also expected to start the regular season on the DL. Considering the injuries to Morales and Breslow, Abraham predicted the Red Sox would have the following Opening Day bullpen; closer Joel Hanrahan, setup men Andrew Bailey, Andrew Miller, Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa and long relievers Clayton Mortensen and Alfredo Aceves.