John Farrell: Felix Doubront is 'going to keep getting the ball'

April 30, 2014 - 2:25 pm
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Felix Doubront was slated to start for the Red Sox on Wednesday. Instead, with the rainout and the anticipated day-night doubleheader against the Rays on Thursday, Doubront is expected to get the late start, with Jake Peavy taking the ball in the afternoon game. Farrell suggested that the reliability of Peavy resulted in the team's decision to have him start Game 1 of the doubleheader with Doubront scheduled for the night game, when the team will be able to summon an extra pitcher from Pawtucket. "Personal preference of maybe a little bit more known commodity as far as dependability and getting deeper into the game. Not to say it'€™s always a guarantee, but that'€™s what you go by, knowing you'€™ve got a guy that can hopefully keep a bullpen from getting overexposed early and look to have guys fresh for Game 2," said Farrell. That preference highlights the early-season inconsistency of Doubront. The 26-year-old is 1-3 with a 6.00 ERA. While he's had a pair of quality starts, he's also had two disastrous starts in which he failed to complete the third inning. That said, Farrell was careful to point out that the nature of the left-hander's struggles this year have been different than the ones that led him to be skipped for a start in favor of extra bullpen work last May, when he required extra delivery work to improve command and extra time to build arm strength at a time when his velocity was puzzlingly absent. Right now, the Sox have no such intentions with Doubront, and instead continue to view his place in the rotation as set. "There's been some games where he's pitched very well for us, even in this first month. To compare last year to this year, yeah, he got off to a little bit of a slow start, hit stride and then was one of the main contributors to our rotation. We fully envision him to be that guy again. He's shown flashes in April that were better than times in April of a year ago," said Farrell. "He's going to keep getting the ball. We've got to keep doing what we can to have those in-game adjustments happen a little more readily, because the work he's following, the routine he's following, all that remains to be consistent start to start. ... I can't sit here today and say that we're going to bump him in the rotation a turn just to address some things. We're confident he'll go out and put together a good game [Thursday]."
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