BOSTON -- To fill a roster spot created by the injury to Joel Hanrahan, the Red Sox promoted Allen Webster for a spot start while moving Felix Doubront to the bullpen - for the time being, at least.
"The reason behind that,'' explained John Farrell, "is that, as we're going through [this] period to somewhat regroup and get our pitching back on track, this is the one way we could communicate to everyone involved that this would be a concrete plan [for] the next couple of days. I didn't want Felix going down there and getting loose or potentially coming into a game with the thought that he would be starting [Wednesday] as well.
"This is a way to be clear-cut about it, and Webster starts [Wednesday]. So Felix will be in the pen today and tomorrow. It's anticipated at this point that the next time we go through the rotation, Doubront will be back [in that spot]. He'll work out of the bullpen for this time through the rotation.''
The move comes at a time when Doubront is struggling with both his efficiency and velocity. His fastball, which was regularly 95 mph a year ago, has been down to 90-91 of late, though the Red Sox maintain he's healthy.
Looking for length in the bullpen, the Sox could have opted to bring back Alfredo Aceves to pitch in relief, since durability and resilliency have been two of his hallmarks.
In 2011, for instance, Aceves pitched brilliantly in a multi-inning capacity. In 16 appearances of more than two innings, Aceves posted an ERA of 1.92.
Given that the Red Sox need length more than anything in the bullpen, returning Aceves to that role would seem to have been the logical move.
But the Red Sox braintrust decided against such a promotion for two reasons, according to a baseball source. First, the Sox thought that Webster, who made his major-league debut in a spot start last month, was more deserving of the call-up. Secondly, Aceves's poor performance here in the first few weeks of the season coupled with some ill-advised finger-pointing, would made bringing him up something of a "tough sell'' in the Red Sox clubhouse.