The Royals have signed left-handed veteran pitcher Franklin Morales to a minor league contract and invited him to camp, according to Andy McCullough. The 29-year old Morales is an eight-year MLB veteran with the Red Sox and Rockies, sporting a 4.72 ERA in 423 2/3 innings, both as a starter and reliever. He posted a 5.37 ERA in 142 1/3 innings for the Rockies last year, making 22 starts. He struck out 6.3 hitters per nine, while walking 4.1. His best year came his rookie season as a 21-year old, when he posted 1.1 rWAR with a 3.43 ERA in eight starts.
Morales does not have much of a split between being a starter and reliever, posting a 4.87 ERA as a starter and 4.52 ERA as a reliever, although he strikes out significanltly more coming out of the pen. Lefties post a .624 OPS against him, compared to a .844 OPS against righties, so he seems like a good candidate to slide into a left-handed specialist role. He will likely compete with Tim Collins for a spot in the bullpen, as Andy McCullough suggests, and could provide as another option to start should the Royals suffer injuries.