The Red Sox are shutting him down for the season after an MRI revealed left shoulder inflammation. With the season close to its conclusion — and Morales’ bright future as a possible starter ahead — Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine doesn’t want to take a gamble.
“It showed that he had a pitcher’s shoulder — nothing radical, but at this time of the season, it’s always better to be safe than sorry,” Valentine said.
As a result, the Red Sox shifted Morales to the 60-day disabled list and activated Scott Atchison. Atchison has been sidelined since July 14 with a forearm strain that almost required Tommy John surgery.
A second opinion from renowned orthopedist Dr. James Andrews nixed that idea. Instead, Andrews advised Atchison to alleviate the discomfort by resting for an extended period of time.
After impressing in a couple rehab outings with the Pawtucket Red Sox, Atchison is ready to roll. It’s a testament to his patience and work ethic amid the reliever’s best season of his career.
“When they said he might not pitch again [this season], I looked in his eyes, and he said, ‘No, I’m going to pitch. This is easy,'” Valentine said. “He researched a little, found out that some other people had the same injury as he did and came back and pitched. He went down and shut people out in the minor leagues, and now he’s back in the big leagues. It’s a credit to him as a person, as well as him as a pitcher. He’s special.”
The 35-year-old Atchinson has posted a 2-1 record with a 1.76 ERA in 37 appearances this season.