Josh Beckett's disappointing season took an even worse turn Saturday. After the Boston Red Sox pitcher was scratched from his Sunday start with shoulder inflammation, the club announced he would be placed on the 15-day disabled list. Franklin Morales, who has been an effective reliever all season, will take Beckett's spot in the rotation, and reliever Clayton Mortensen was promoted from Triple-A Pawtucket in his place. It will be Morales' first major league start since 2009 with the Colorado Rockies.
Before the injury, Beckett had been far from the dominant ace of seasons past. He's sitting on a 4.14 ERA and 101 ERA+, meaning he's been precisely league-average. He has been better of late; after getting shelled for seven runs in two innings against Cleveland on May 10, he had a 5.97 ERA. Still, his mediocrity has helped the Red Sox languish near the cellar of the AL East well into June.
Morales has a 3.04 ERA in 23.2 innings pitched this season with 20 strikeouts. He likely won't pitch deep into the game Sunday, but if Beckett has an extended stay on the shelf, he'll be able to work his way deeper as he gets more comfortable starting again.