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  1. Its funny, right now, the Red Sox best starters are Franklin Morales, Daisuke Matsuzaka, and Felix Doubront. Who woulda thunk it?

    Comment by RC — June 29, 2012 @ 5:02 pm

  2. Not so, actually. Doubront’s been running into trouble his last few times out.

    Even with un-Lester-like base stats, Lester has been better than Doubront since early May.

    Comment by Jonathan — June 29, 2012 @ 5:25 pm

  3. Another article on fangraphs about the Red Sox. What a complete surprise that absolutely no one could have saw coming.

    Comment by Breaking News — June 29, 2012 @ 5:35 pm

  4. I watched his outing last night. Definitely see the “stuff” factor, but imo how he fares will largely be linked to the guy calling balls and strikes each night.

    He got more than a little help with called strikes that can easily make the difference between a great outing, a good one, and a ‘meh.’ Starting 2-1 vs 1-2 batter after batter will be key to watch with him.

    Against the Mariners even when they were sitting fastball he often won the battle. Good enough to escape control issues, and potentially dominant if his control improves.

    Comment by Jimbo — June 29, 2012 @ 5:38 pm

  5. Check yer logic there homeslice.

    Prior to last night’s start Morales had two starts with 17:1 K/BB ratio. If there were a Red Sox bias wouldn’t they have written about him a week ago? Took a third good start.

    Or are you just a hater who copies and pastes that response after any article about Boston…

    Comment by Jimbo — June 29, 2012 @ 5:43 pm

  6. Oh hi troll, please leave

    Comment by matt — June 29, 2012 @ 5:46 pm

  7. Three good starts!!! Oh my, that sample size is absolutely significant.

    How many good starts until Lance Lynn gets an article?

    Comment by Anon — June 29, 2012 @ 5:51 pm

  8. What a shock, a Red Sox pitcher has three good games and Fangraphs is ready to crown him. The fact that they have to rely on a fluke like this just shows how poorly built they are. And let’s ignore the fact that Morales’ record is 1-1 on the season. What a stud!

    Comment by everdiso — June 29, 2012 @ 5:52 pm

  9. BrooksBaseball’s PitchFX tool disagrees.

    Morales had 5 strikes called balls, and 4 balls called strikes. Pretty typical.

    Hernandez, on the other hand, had a ridiculous 15 balls called strikes, and 4 strikes called balls.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Hernandez’s numbers are pretty typical for situations where pitchers end up with 12+ ks.

    Comment by RC — June 29, 2012 @ 5:54 pm

  10. What a shock, everdiso is a troll.

    Comment by RC — June 29, 2012 @ 5:54 pm

  11. Not true. He had 3 pitches that were called strikes outside of the zone, and 3 that were called balls inside the zone. Ump wasn’t a factor. And besides, he’s had an incredibly high strike percentage before yesterday’s game. His overall strike percentage of 72% was actually lowered last night, as he only threw 64% of this pitches for strikes (70 strikes, 109 pitches).

    Here’s the K zone plot, thanks to Brooks Baseball

    Comment by SoxFanForsyth — June 29, 2012 @ 6:04 pm


    And here is Hernandez, who, on the other hand, received a very favorable strike zone.

    Comment by RC — June 29, 2012 @ 6:31 pm

  13. *Attention*

    Now, did you get what you wanted?

    Comment by ScHoolBoyQ — June 29, 2012 @ 7:07 pm

  14. Too bad that an otherwise good article about a potentially undervalued player is being ignored in favour of some petty comments. If the best reply you can make is that some reader is a douche or a troll, then do the rest of us a favour and don’t bother with your post.

    Comment by Matt — June 29, 2012 @ 7:25 pm

  15. what a lonely person you must be

    Comment by blahblahblah — June 29, 2012 @ 7:36 pm

  16. Is there anything to these converted relievers running out of gas around the 80-100 inning mark of the season? Exhibit a jeff samardzija. Exhibit b lance lynn

    Comment by Ash — June 29, 2012 @ 9:47 pm

  17. To Paul swydan: do you think the redsox will look into trading him after buccholz gets back?

    Comment by Don Draper — June 29, 2012 @ 10:28 pm

  18. Glad to see an analysis on Morales. Very interesting case of a former top prospect who might ultimately put it together. I don’t see how what team he plays for is a factor in the article. I look to FanGraphs to analyze how real sudden improvements like this might be, so thank you.

    Comment by ODawg — June 30, 2012 @ 12:31 am

  19. You mean that Lance Lynn who was written about in an article on rotographs 27 days ago?

    Comment by Sam Samson — June 30, 2012 @ 3:36 am

  20. Whereas your comment was just dripping with added value.

    Comment by Sam Samson — June 30, 2012 @ 3:38 am

  21. I’m not much of a ‘stat’ person, but I read these articles hoping that one day everything makes sense to me.

    May I make a simple observation here-one that has nothing to do with numbers? Playing baseball at this level is hard. It’s especially hard for pitchers-so much has to go right for them to have success and many pitchers-even with great stuff, have a whole lot to learn. Could it simply be that Franklin Morales has finally learned from past mistakes on the mound, and now has a better understanding of what he needs to do?
    Don’t a lot of player struggle through failures? Morales may have simply learned how to pitch.

    Comment by jirish — June 30, 2012 @ 9:25 am

  22. A fantasy article split with a minor league player? And you think that compares to this how?

    Comment by Anon — June 30, 2012 @ 9:34 am

  23. Lynn isn’t a converted reliever. Yes, he threw ~25 innings as a reliever last year. Other than that, he has started his entire career.

    Comment by Anon — June 30, 2012 @ 9:41 am

  24. Yes, lets ignore the fact he is 1-1. Because pitcher W/L is the best way to determine pitcher value. Chris Capuano is INFINITY b3tt0rz thanz Cliff Lee ho iz da abz0lut3 SUX0RRZZZ wit his 00000-5 recordz!!!111!!!

    Comment by MetsKnicks49ers — June 30, 2012 @ 11:00 am

  25. Let’s see Morales’ command hold-up for a while before we crown him anything..

    Comment by Alex — June 30, 2012 @ 11:25 am

  26. No one is crowning anyone anything. But…

    25.1 IP, 16 H, 3 BB, 31 SO, .174/.200/.239, 4 ER for 1.42 ERA
    11.01 K/9, 1.07 BB/9, 10.33 K/BB, .262 BAbip

    …that is worth taking notice of and mentioning

    Comment by blahblahblah — June 30, 2012 @ 1:30 pm

  27. that everdiso is a troll, yup.

    but he ain’t me.

    Comment by everdiso — June 30, 2012 @ 2:01 pm

  28. I am impressed by the persistence of troll everdiso, though. And II’m damn flattered by the effort that bitter unhappy red sox fan puts in, to be honest.

    Comment by everdiso — June 30, 2012 @ 2:07 pm

  29. and to be fair, aside from the silly comment about Morales’ irrelevant 1-1 w/l record, troll everdiso’s comment here is pretty much bang on otherwise.

    Comment by everdiso — June 30, 2012 @ 2:09 pm

  30. Valid point. But still… will be curious to see how Morales holds up as the season wears on

    Comment by Ashman — June 30, 2012 @ 9:15 pm

  31. “and to be fair, aside from the silly comment about Morales’ irrelevant 1-1 w/l record, troll everdiso’s comment here is pretty much bang on otherwise.”

    God, you’re an idiot.

    A former top prospect that they acquired for cash when his value was at it’s lowest turns into good reliever and now has a few nice starts and that’s evidence of a POOR job by the Red Sox FO? You should thank your “impostor”, he actually makes you look good compared to what you really believe.

    Comment by JF45 — June 30, 2012 @ 10:09 pm

  32. I don’t. Matsuzaka is a free agent after this season, and having Morales as an option for next season will be a benefit, especially because he comes cheap.

    Comment by Paul Swydan — June 30, 2012 @ 10:17 pm

  33. I’d say that a $200m payroll team relying on Doubront and Morales as key starters is best described as poor management, yes.

    if it makes you feel better to call that idiotic, and feel that Morales being one of many boderline MLB pitchers to throw a handful of good starts at some point shows the genius of the red sox FO, then go for it.

    Comment by everdiso — July 1, 2012 @ 1:55 am

  34. I don’t like everdiso or the faked everdiso, confusing (but do like one and not the other). Don’t understand the Boston vitriol on this sight… least we dont need to hear about Bobby V.

    So the 22 year old got lit up in Game 1for SEVEN runs in 2/3inning…….lost confidence and control…..figured something out and clearly has the stuff to survive when he’s hitting his spots. He’s feeling good,so ride the wave. Strong Buy two starts ago after 9k’s thru 5.

    Comment by first timer — July 1, 2012 @ 2:41 am

  35. Doubront was a top-10 prospect going into 2011, and Morales is a long-man being used as an Injury replacement.

    The only thing idiotic around here is your strange, obsessive hatred for a baseball team, an obsession which you apparently feel the need to show the world

    Its really pitiful, and makes you look like you probably need some serious mental help.

    Comment by blahblahblah — July 1, 2012 @ 3:29 am

  36. Now let’s travel back to reality land:

    1. They don’t have a $200m payroll.
    2. Morales is not being “relied on as a key starter”. He filled in for Beckett, who missed a couple starts, and he’s been so good he’s forced his way into the rotation for the time being.
    3. I, nor anyone else, called the Red Sox geniuses wrt Morales. That’s your insecurity/jealousy causing you to project.

    Comment by JF45 — July 1, 2012 @ 12:46 pm

  37. I agree, the Red Sox luck out all the time with guys like Morales and Daniel Nava, who are clearly the biggest factor in their success.

    Now, look at a real genius like AA, for example. The best player on his team, by far, the only guy keeping them (barely) relevant, was the biggest blind luck unprecedented fluke of the past 20 years. Oh, wait, nevermind….

    Comment by Tim — July 1, 2012 @ 12:50 pm

  38. Which part of the 200m dollar payroll goes towards the magic healing machine that prevents any injuries from occurring?

    Comment by Hirm — July 1, 2012 @ 12:56 pm

  39. Oh, and again, Felix Doubront, a home grown guy, a guy they scouted and signed as a 16 year old for a small signing bonus, came up through the system, develops into a serviceable MLB starter, and this is yet another example of the Red Sox failing.

    You’re really convincing us, man.

    Comment by JF45 — July 1, 2012 @ 12:59 pm

  40. Uhhhhh ….

    Comment by Chris Sale — July 1, 2012 @ 1:06 pm

  41. Anyone who has taken the trouble to actually watch Morales pitch in these starts would be a little cautious about predicting a slide back to mediocrity for him. Left handed, no walks, 95 gas first and last, easy splitter, there isn’t a GM in baseball who wouldn’t jump on him right now.

    Comment by james wilson — July 2, 2012 @ 12:50 am

  42. James – excellent point. I was beginning to think I was the only one who actually saw him pitch. Of course there is a chance his command falls by the waist-side as it’s done in the past – but this article isn’t nominating him for the Cy Young. It’s simply saying “hey… might want to keep an eye on this kid”. And it’s right. Former top prospect who has always had the raw talent to be an ace, but never got it together for long enough to matter. Now he’s in a good situation, on a team that wins, pitching the way we always knew he was capable of. He’s more than worthy of watching, as both a fantasy player and a run of the mill fan.

    Comment by AJ — July 2, 2012 @ 5:11 am

  43. Exhibit C: Felix Doubront (Not really a “converted reliever” so much, but he looks like he’s running out of gas right now)

    Comment by Jonathan — July 2, 2012 @ 10:21 am

  44. I wonder how I’m the only one to see it, really. A non-boston website posting in depth articles on every red sock borderline mlber who has a hot couple of weeks.


    LH F.Morales (26): 221.1ip, 7.7hr/fb%, 4.23era, 4.28fip, 4.64xfip
    LH A.Laffey (27): 394.2ip, 8.2hr/fb% , 4.22era, 4.49fip, 4.72xfip

    2012 as Starter

    LH F.Morales (26): 3gs, 6.0ip/gs, 0.0hr/fb%, 2.00era, 0.89fip, 2.26xfip
    LH A.Laffey (27): 2gs, 6.0ip/gs, 11.1hr/fb%, 1.50era, 3.64fip, 3.64xfip

    I’m sure we’re all waiting with baited breath for the in-depth Laffey analysis.

    Comment by everdiso — July 2, 2012 @ 2:46 pm

  45. “I wonder how I’m the only one to see it, really.”

    because you’re obsessive compulsive, filled with an unhealthy biased hatred which you use to persuade yourself into believing your own nonsense. (Laffey? The guy with a sad 4.5 K/9 and fluke .171 BAbip in those three supposedly impressive starts? Seriously? You cant be that stupid, can you?)

    Morales was once the #8 prospect in all of Baseball. He suffered major control issues and problems keeping his head in the game. His stuff was never in question.

    Skip ahead a few years and he has his mind right, has developed a new pitch, has increased his FB speed, and most importantly finally eliminated the control issues. He pitches extremely well in relief for more then a year then moves to the rotation because of an injury. Once there, he instantly flat out dominates hitters over 3 games – showing all of the stuff everyone always knew he had, but this time with none of the problems. And I mean SICK numbers here – 12.0 K/9 and 1.50 BB/9 off a perfectly normal .318 BAbip for a ridiculous 0.89 FIP and 2.26 xFIP. Unless he flatout forgets how to throw strikes, those numbers are sustainable – unlike the smoke and mirrors of your illogical Laffey comparison.

    None of that should ever be talked about though because Morales is a RedSox player and those are not to be mentioned – well, according to this one random, obsessively bitter RedSox hater.

    It didnt really matter to me too much before, but now I really hope Morales continues his Cliff Lee like rebirth and goes on to dominate for years – just so your pitiful little hate filled mind explodes!

    Comment by blahblahblah — July 2, 2012 @ 8:34 pm

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