BRADENTON, Fla. -- After missing the first 2 12 weeks of Grapefruit League play with shoulder weakness and then a scare about an irregular heartbeat, Franklin Morales has some catching up to do.
Wednesday, he made his first game appearance, throwing an inning of relief in the Red Soc' 6-5 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Morales pitched a scoreless eighth inning, allowing a walk and recording a strikeout.
"I feel good, feel strong,'' reported Morales. "I need to throw my pitches and everything's going to be fine.''
Earlier in the day, manager Bobby Valentine said Morales had enough time to get ready for the April 5 opener in Detroit, and the lefty reliever concurred.
"If I feel good, it doesn't matter about the spring workload,'' he said. "If my shoulder's good, all I need to do is see some hitters and let it go."
Morales was able to throw his sinker, his split-finger fastball and curve with decent command, making Wednesday a good first step.
"I feel confident and I feel comfortable," he said. "I was able to throw any one of my three pitches for a strike."