Sure, his latest gem was against the hapless Mariners — who currently rank at or near the bottom of the league in most offensive categories — but it was still a gem nonetheless.
Morales has had his share of outstanding performances against perfectly respectable teams this season, too. He’s improved in each of his three starts this year, going deeper into the game each time while doing more than hold his own in the place of Josh Beckett and Clay Buchholz.
However, the competition to stay in the rotation is about to heat up. Beckett is scheduled to make his return on Saturday and there is talk of a switch to a six-man rotation until the All-Star break.
Bobby Valentine will soon have a decision to make with his rotation, but Morales has done nothing to suggest that he isn’t worthy of sticking around for a while longer. Then again, he’s only made three starts so far in 2012 and that’s a pretty small sample size as far as starters go.
Is Morales simply on a hot streak? Or is there something more significant more at work? Only time will tell.