He started the year as a reliever. Then, he moved to the starting rotation in June when Josh Beckett was sidelined with an injury. After moving back to the bullpen in mid-July, Morales was called upon to start once more in Sunday's game.
The switch in workload can certainly take a toll on a pitcher's lower body, especially his knees and feet. To combat any setbacks moving forward — considering the uncertainty with his role — Morales routinely hits the tub.
"Physically, to keep my lower body in top shape, I'm always taking ice water baths or relaxing in hot tubs to relieve the aches from my body," Morales said. "Because you never know when an injury is going to occur, so you need to prevent it before it happens.
"Fortunately, I've felt great this season. I haven't had any injuries. I'm thankful for that because in recent years, I've had a few minor ones, but this year I'm trying to do the little things to stay healthy."
It's showing in his production. Making his first start since July 13, Morales tossed 107 pitches over six innings on Sunday and allowed just three hits and one run to capture his third victory of the season.
As a starter this year, Morales is 3-1 with a 3.06 ERA and 35 strikeouts. Even in relief, the 26-year-old has adapted to the transition seamlessly, boasting a 3.23 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 28 appearances.
That durability is also helped by his strict exercise schedule between outings.
"Maintaining a daily routine is important," Morales said. "I try to stay on top of my weightlifting duties, especially the smaller weights and the days I have to hit the gym. I do it to the best of my abilities and get as many reps as I can."
The Red Sox — and Morales' legs — are better for that dedication to preserving his body.
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) is offering 100 healthy tips to celebrate Fenway Park’s centennial. Visit 100pitches.org to learn more.