Sox hoping Doubront will get on track like in '13

Sox hoping Doubront will get on track like in '13
April 30, 2014, 8:00 pm
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BOSTON -- Jake Peavy or Felix Doubront?

Faced with a day-night doubleheader on Thursday, the Red Sox had to keep their bullpen in mind when choosing which starter would start the first game against the Rays and which would start the second.

Based on his track record, Peavy gives the Red Sox a better chance of keeping their relievers rested later into the day. He'll get the start at 1:05 pm.

"Personal preference of maybe a little bit more [of a] known commodity as far as dependability of getting deeper into a game," is how manager John Farrell explained his decision to roll with Peavy in Game 1.

"Not to say it's always a guarantee, but that's what you go by. Just knowing that you've got a guy that can hopefully keep a bullpen from getting overexposed early and look to have guys fresh for Game 2."

Doubront has flashed at points this season, but his inconsistency hasn't produced much in the way of confidence that he will work deep into a game whenever he takes the mound.

In his last start, he got just eight outs before being pulled in an ugly 14-5 loss to the Yankees at home.

It was the second start of the season for Doubront in which he lasted 2.2 innings. That came on April 8 in a 10-7 loss to the Rangers. The two starts following that one, however, he pitched into the seventh inning and kept the Red Sox competitive.

Up and down. Up and down. His start to the season has been reminiscent of his 2013 campaign when he battled inconsistency.

"There's been some games where he's pitched very well for us, even in this first month," Farrell said of Doubront. "To compare last year to this year, yeah, he got off to a little bit of a slow start, then hit stride and was one of the main contributors to our rotation. We fully envision he'll be that guy again.

"He's shown flashes in April that were better than times in April of a year ago. He's going to keep getting the ball. We've gotta do what we can to have those in-game adjustments happen a little bit more readily because the work he's following, the routine he's following, all of that remains to be consistent from start to start."

In order to try to get Doubront on track last season, the Red Sox held him out of a start so that he could use the time off to work with pitching coach Juan Nieves and be ready for the stretch run.

Farrell said that the team isn't considered doing something similar just yet.

"We're hopeful that when he takes the mound tomorrow night, we're going to get a start like we have a couple of times already this year," Farrell said. "As we have with Clay [Buchholz] or Jake [Peavy] or John [Lackey], we address things as they come up. 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 tomorrow."