The Colorado Rockies traded utility player Jonathan Herrera to the Boston Red Sox for relief pitcher Franklin Morales. Even though Morales has dealt with some injuries and saw his earned run average increase in 2013, there’s no question he’s still worth taking a chance on for the Rockies.
Herrera has played second base, shortstop, third base and left field in his five-year career with Colorado. He has seen the most time at second, but he posts an outstanding fielding percentage at the three infield positions. The fact that he saw his offensive numbers improve slightly in 2013 could be a reason why most fans won’t be happy that he was dealt. Even though he brings zero power on offense and really does nothing as far as run production, his batting average did increase 30 points and he posted a career-high .336 on-base percentage.
The obvious reason for the trade is that Colorado’s bullpen needs all the help they can get. The team’s relievers ranked dead last in the National League with a 4.23 ERA. Fans who remember Morales, who came up to the big leagues with the Rockies, may recall that he never did much as far as earned run average is concerned. However, there’s no telling what the future holds.
Another reason Colorado should be optimistic about Morales is that he’s capable of pitching out of the bullpen or as a starter. The versatility is huge for a team that saw its pitching staff struggle in 2013.
Morales went 2-2 with a 4.62 ERA, 21 strikeouts and four holds in 20 appearances (one start) with the Red Sox last season.
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