Red Sox pregame notes: Felix Doubront viewed as long man; Shane Victorino benefits most from time off

Rob Bradford
October 04, 2013 - 8:42 am

According to John Farrell, Felix Doubront has locked into his role for the American League Division Series. The Red Sox manager said prior to Game 1 of the ALDS that Doubront will be viewed as a reliever who can give the team multiple innings in case of some sort of rain delay or extra innings. The designation of Doubront as a long man cements Ryan Dempster'€™s role as more of a high-leverage reliever. '€œWe looked at Felix as the ability to give us multiple innings,'€ said Farrell when asked about the thinking behind putting Doubront in as one of the Sox'€™ 11 postseason pitchers. '€œIf we were to get in a situation where it was a lengthy rain delay and we need multiple innings to start back up '€¦ It was more the ability to go multiple innings and a guy who has had a very good year for us. Asked how long the lefty might be able to go, having not started since Sept. 26 and just two times for the entire month of Septempber. Farrell said, '€œHe could probably give us 75-80 pitches at this point. How much further along we go and further away from that start could affect that as well. At least initially that'€™s where we'€™re at.'€ Farrell reiterated what Doubront suggested to Thursday, that the pitcher had become more accepting of the new role after conversations with the manager. The two met multiple times, according to Farrell, with the most recent talk coming Tuesday. Doubront pitched one time in relief, at two-inning stint in Baltimore last weekend, while also participating in Wednesday'€™s simulated game. (To see the pitcher'€™s comments regarding his new role, click here.) '€œThat sit-down with him was critical in terms of accepting of the role and understanding there was going to be a need in change of routine,'€ Farrell said. '€œI thought the first inning in Baltimore was encouraging, and yet what needed to be further clarified is that he needed to be ready to pitch everywhere from one hitter to four innings. To remain open-ended and open-minded and just go pitch to the best of your ability until you take the ball out of your hand.'€ - Farrell also talked about both Franklin Morales and Dempster having specified roles out of the bullpen. Morales is believed to be viewed as the reliever who will be most relied on to get specific lefties out, while Dempster was singled out for his ability to get key outs vs. righty hitters. '€œI think through the last 10 days to two weeks we'€™ve further identified who'€™s more equipped and who thrives better in those situations vs. a clean inning and Franklin showed us he'€™s that guy from the left side.,'€ Farrell said. Regarding Dempster, the manager said, '€œWhen we made the move with him from the bullpen we didn'€™t see him just as the long guy. His ability to come in and get a right-hander, he'€™s also been very good against leftes, his veteran presence '€¦ Yeah, it creates more flexibility with his usage.'€ - Farrell said that Shane Victorino (thumb, hamstring) was probably the player who benefited the most from the four-day layoff leading into ALDS, with Jacoby Ellsbury (foot) also benefiting from the time off. '€œLetting that hand issue kind of calm down a little bit. The work he has done over the last four days, in addition to the rest, swinging the bat, he doesn'€™t feel any symptoms in that anymore,'€ Farrell said of Victorino. '€œThat'€™s been a plus. Obviously Jacoby. I think two very critical guys in our lineup, for sure defensively, to have them out there and available at 100 percent, that'€™s two pivotal guys.'€ Farrell confirmed Thursday'€™s report that Rubby De La Rosa, Drake Britton, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Brandon Snyder have all been sent to Fort Myers to continue their workouts. Matt Thornton, John McDonald and Ryan Lavarnway (along with injured Andrew Miller and Andrew Bailey) will remain with the team in uniform. - Farrell said he arrived at Fenway Park at 7:45 a.m. The manager noted that Jarrod Saltalalamacchia was already in the clubhouse at the time of his arrival. - Due to the soggy weather, batting practice was cancelled for both teams.