Franklin Morales presumably has two more chances to earn the No. 5 spot in the Rockies' regular-season rotation. The first of those comes today when Colorado takes on the Royals in Cactus League action at Salt River Fields.
When judging his spring workload as a whole, it's hard not to say that Morales hasn't done everything he can to win that job. The 28-year-old left-hander has a 2.93 ERA with 16 strikeouts and only five walks in 15⅔ innings. If he can go fairly deep into the game (six innings or so) today against a near-MLB-quality lineup and continue to exhibit the solid overall command he's had, Morales has to be the favorite over Jordan Lyles to break camp in the rotation.
Lyles does not have the strikeout ability that Morales possesses, and so far this spring, he hasn't been as good at limiting walks on a rate basis, either. Now, let's see how Franklin responds. Considering his next appearance is scheduled to come on the same day as that of Lyles, this will be Morales' last chance this spring to truly shine.
Going against Morales for the Royals will be Jeremy Guthrie, just a regular guy who doesn't really elicit any sort of opinion one way or another from Rockies fans.
|COLORADO ROCKIES||KANSAS CITY ROYALS|
|Charlie Blackmon - RF||Jarrod Dyson - DH|
|Corey Dickerson - CF||Johnny Giavotella - 2B|
|Carlos Gonzalez - LF||Salvador Perez - C|
|Troy Tulowitzki - SS||Billy Butler - 1B|
|Justin Morneau - 1B||Alex Gordon - LF|
|Wilin Rosario - C||Justin Maxwell - RF|
|Nolan Arenado - 3B||Danny Valencia - 3B|
|Jordan Pacheco - DH||Lorenzo Cain - CF|
|Charlie Culberson - 2B||Juan Ciriaco - SS|
|Franklin Morales - P||Jeremy Guthrie - P|