|Notes and Observations Week 15: Patriots Blow Out Dolphins 41-13; Clinch AFC East||Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Defense, Special Teams Carry Home Team||Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 15||Right Idea? Red Sox Bring in Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, Justin Masterson|
The Boston Red Sox have elected to proceed in the coming weeks without starter Josh Beckett due to minor shoulder inflammation, placing him on the 15-day disabled list on Saturday. While he is out, reliever Franklin Morales is scheduled to temporarily take his place in the rotation.
Beckett this year has received attention from his golfing excursion and a couple bad outings, but overall he’s been a good pitcher for the Sox. His record is just 4-7 and he holds a 4.14 ERA, skewed from a terrible outing against the Cleveland Indians.
The team feels that by shutting Beckett down for the next couple weeks, he will be more reliable down the stretch of the season as opposed to last year when he was largely ineffective in September. He is in the middle of a four-year, $68 million contract with Boston that ends in 2014.
Morales has been a big success out of the bullpen to this point in the year, holding a 3.04 ERA and becoming more than a one-inning reliever at times. He had started fifteen games in his career, all between 2007 and 2009 with the Colorado Rockies. His first start for the Red Sox will be Sunday night against the Chicago Cubs when the team wraps up its three-game series at Wrigley Field.