June 22, 2018
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Red Sox reliever Morales has bulging disc

By The Sports Xchange, Special to the BDN

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Boston Red Sox left-hander Franklin Morales is out indefinitely with a bulging disc in his back.

According to multiple reports, the reliever saw a doctor this week in Boston and received an epidural injection. He has pitched in only one game during spring training.

Morales worked in 37 games last year for the Red Sox, posting a 3-4 record and one save with a 3.77 ERA in 76 1/3 innings.

It’s likely that Morales will begin the season on the disabled list.

In Friday night’s spring training game, Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning to help propel the Red Sox by the Minnesota Twins 5-0 at JetBlue

“To Salty, it was a fastball, a sinker that kind of stayed up,” Twins starter Liam Hendriks said on the Red Sox website. “It was a little bit up and a little bit down the middle. If I get it away another couple of inches, he misses it like he had the first couple of times. The fastball command was great, just the one pitch to him.”

Boston left-hander Felix Doubront walked the first batter he faced but went on to pitch three scoreless innings with four strikeouts.

Red Sox prospect Deven Marrero started at shortstop when Pedro Ciriaco was sidelined due to back spasms. Marrero had two hits.

Red Sox notebook

— Right-handed pitcher Allen Webster, 23, continues to impress. After throwing three shutout innings against the Blue Jays on Tuesday, Webster earned no shortage of praise from manager John Farrell. “He’s pretty damn good,” Farrell said.

Featuring a fastball that has reached 99 mph and a devastating changeup that he throws confidently in any count, Webster is one of the stories of spring training. He allowed nine hits and one walk over his first 11 innings through Wednesday, striking out 14 and compiling a 1.64 ERA.

Farrell wouldn’t rule out Webster getting a start before the spring is over.

— Medical watch: RHP John Lackey (Tommy John surgery in November 2011) has taken a regular return in the spring training rotation and remains on track to open the season as the No. 3, 4, or 5 starter. … DH David Ortiz (soreness in both heels) was shut down in mid-March. He will be evaluated in late March, and he is unlikely to be ready for Opening Day. … OF Ryan Kalish (right shoulder surgery in January 2012) went on the 60-day disabled list Feb. 20. He has missed most of the past two seasons with shoulder and neck problems. … LHP Craig Breslow (left shoulder soreness) is unlikely to be ready for the start of the season as he builds strength in his left shoulder. … SS Stephen Drew (slight concussion) was hit in the head by a pitch on March 7. As of Wednesday, he had resumed some physical activity, but he was awaiting clearance from Major League Baseball to return to the field.

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