31-Year-Old Pitcher – Free Agent
2017 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
There was no outlook written for Franklin Morales in 2017. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Franklin Morales Contract Information:
Released by Milwaukee in March 2016.
Morales was released by the Blue Jays on Tuesday, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca reports.
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Franklin Morales: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Franklin Morales.
Morales was a steady arm in the middle of Kansas City's bullpen last year with a 3.18 ERA and 1.16 WHIP, along with eight holds. Morales had good control with a 2.02 BB/9 and keeps the ball on the ground (49.5 percent of batted balls), but his strikeout rates and velocity have declined precipitously the past three seasons. Even if he maintains his strong control, he'll have a tough time sustaining success with less than six strikeouts per nine innings.
The Rockies acquired Morales last offseason, wagering that his experience pitching in Coors Field during the team’s glory years of the late aughts would enable him to revitalize a flagging career. The lefty ended up staying healthy enough to toss 142.1 innings, the second-most on the team, but aside from that, his reunion with the Rockies proved unharmonious. He routinely jostled between the rotation and long relief and thrived in neither capacity, as both the traditional (5.37 ERA, 1.62 WHIP) and advanced metrics (5.4 K-BB%, 1.52 HR/9 rate) would flesh out. The Rockies non-tendered him in the offseason, leaving Morales with the unenviable task of trying to find a landing spot in free agency coming off a year in which he was one of the worst pitchers on the league’s worst pitching staff. It won‘t help his cause that he was curiously poorer on the road (5.88 ERA, 6.38 FIP) than at home, likely forcing him to settle for a minor league contract with his next club.
Morales prepared to be a starter/long reliever in spring training, but missed the first two months of the season because of a chest injury. He later spent time on the disabled list because of a shoulder/pectoral injury and was limited to 25.1 innings. Morales was a less effective pitcher in 2013, though he was pretty tough on lefties. Acquired by the Rockies in December, he'll return to familiar surroundings as the third left-hander in the Colorado bullpen.
Morales pitched well for Boston in 2012, both as a reliever and starter, and has been told by new manager John Farrell to prepare for spring training as a starter. Control has been the bane in his career, though Morales has harnessed that some in his stint with the Red Sox. If he maintains the command, he will be an important cog in Boston's plans, whether that is as the fifth starter, fill-in starter, or part of the middle-inning relief corps. He enters the season as potentially one of three left-handed relievers, along with Andrew Miller and Craig Breslow. That supply of left-handed arms may lead to one of them being traded.
Morales spent the 2011 season pitching out of the bullpen in Colorado and then Boston. He had more success with Boston and that was the direct result of improving his control. He was still hittable, but Morales dropped his BB/9 rate with the Red Sox and became one of several left-handed relievers looking to fill a role that became a season-long need for Boston. He was the most effective of the bunch, particularly in August, but remains unproven over longer stretches. He reportedly pitched well in Venezuela during the offseason. The Red Sox will no doubt be looking for reliable relief from the left side, so there's an opening for Morales.
Morales started the 2010 season as the Rockies' fill-in closer for Huston Street, but he proved ineffective before a shoulder injury eventually knocked him from that role. He rejoined the team again in June, but posted a 7:10 K:BB ratio and was optioned to the minors to work on his arsenal. His numbers at Triple-A Colorado Springs were encouraging as he pitched 30.1 innings with a 2.67 ERA and 10.1 K/9IP. However, he was unable to shake the control issues that have pained him through his short career as he posted a 5.6 BB/9IP walk rate there. He resurfaced in September with 10.0 K/BB ratio, giving hope that he might be useful in the back end of the Rockies' bullpen in 2011. Until he curbs his appetite for walks, he's best left untouched by fantasy owners.
At the beginning of the season, Morales revealed to the team that he had been struggling through back pain throughout the 2008 season. He showed up to camp healthy, before a left shoulder strain kept him off the field until June, when he returned to the minors for a rehab stint. There, he was able to regain velocity in time to resurface in Colorado to fill in for closer Huston Street. At one point, he was considered one of the better pitching prospects in all of baseball, but that hype has faded a bit. He's only 24, so there's still plenty of sleeper potential here, but it looks like the Rockies are planning on using him as a reliever. He's a better choice to take over the closer's role from Street than the likes of Manny Corpas and Taylor Buchholz, so consider him in the endgame as a cheap staff filler with saves potential.
His success in the majors at the end of 2007 didn't serve him well last season, as he likely wasn't ready for a rotation job in April. He washed out, then pitched awfully at Triple-A. Just 23, there's plenty of time for him to spend a full year at Triple-A working on his mechanics. Think of him more as a keeper league pick and expect little, if anything, in 2009.
The extremely talented southpaw broke into the major leagues in 2007 at the age of 21. With the Colorado rotation decimated by injuries they turned to the youngster. He went 3-2 in eight major league starts and posted a 26:14 K:BB in 39.2 innings. He has an electric fastball that reaches the high 90's to go along with an excellent curveball and improving changeup. His pitches move so much that Morales has a hard time controlling them. The Rockies may elect to have him spend some time at Triple-A to get more seasoning, but it won't be long before he is a staple in the rotation.