Morales looking more likely to start season on DL

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- It is becoming less likely that lefty reliever Franklin Morales can get healthy in time to start the season on the active roster. Morales has been bothered by a lower back issue and has pitched just once during Spring Training.

"He's kind of plateaued a little bit," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "While he was feeling some improvement with the medication he was taking, when he was thrown out to 75, 90 feet, he started to feel some tightness there again, so we're backing off him today."

Lefty Craig Breslow is also projected to start the season on the DL, creating an opportunity for other relievers who are on the bubble. Righty Clayton Mortensen's chances of making the team could increase.

"He has a [heck] of an opportunity in front of him," Farrell said. "He's a talented pitcher and someone that we value, because he can do a number of things. If you can come out of the bullpen and throw three innings, that's an important asset to have. That doesn't mean we're looking for a quote-unquote 'long man,' but he can fill that role."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.