Doubront's struggles continue against Mariners

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Doubront's struggles continue against Mariners

SEATTLE -- As the Red Sox get closer to hitting the All-Star break, Felix Doubront continues to look as though he's hit the wall.

Doubront lasted just 4 13 innings Sunday, his second shortest outing of the season. He also issued five walks, a season-high, and hit a batter, highlighting some control issues.

He allowed just three hits and a run while he was on the mound, but the walks contributed to an accelerated pitch count. When he came out of the game, having gotten just 13 outs, he had thrown 103 pitches.

"Just three hits," said Bobby Valentine, "but he had a lot of pitches all around the zone that somehow weren't being swung at. I thought he had pretty good stuff, but he was wound up a little tight today.

"I think he was throwing too many different pitches. He was working on too many pitches, I think."

Doubront professed ignorance when it came to his wildness, insisting that he was "feeling good. But for a moment, I lost my mechanics or my release point on the ball. I don't know what happened. Seriously."

He disagreed with Valentine's contention that he was throwing too many different pitches, maintaining that he was throwing "a lot of fastballs. I just couldn't find a way to throw them in the right spot. A lot of balls, a lot of walks. That happens. Every time out is a different game. I just couldn't throw strikes."

A year ago, thanks to a series of nagging injuries, Doubront pitched just 87 23 innings between three minor league assignments and a brief call-up in September.

This season, after 79 games, he's already at 89 23 innings, leading some to suggest that Doubront is tiring under the bigger workload.

"The good thing is my arm and my body feel good," he said. "I'm just going to keep trying and one day, I'm going to figure everything out. I'm just going to stay on my five-day routine and keep doing what I'm doing."

The Sox are currently going with six starters, and with a day off scheduled for this Thursday, can give starters some extra bounce-back time. The upcoming All-Star break will also serve as an opportunity to re-arrange the rotation for the first series after the break, again affording some extra rest for weary starters.

Since June 8, Doubront is 2-2 in his last five starts with a 5.93 ERA and has pitched past the sixth inning just once.

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Farrell angered after Castillo fails to run out grounder

Farrell angered after Castillo fails to run out grounder

The Red Sox signed Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo to a seven-year, $72.5 million contract bn August 2014. Over parts of three seasons, the 29-year-old has a .679 OPS across 337 plate appearances in the majors and spent the vast majority of the 2016 season at Triple-A Pawtucket.

Castillo had a chance to start things off on the right foot in 2017, but that ship has already sailed. On Thursday against Northeastern at JetBlue Park, Castillo didn’t run out a routine ground ball. He claims he lost track of the outs. Manager John Farrell isn’t happy about the situation. Via Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald:

“Disappointing for a couple of reasons,” Sox manager John Farrell said. “One, he has lost the number of outs. Still, regardless of another of outs, getting down the line is controllable. And for a player in his situation, every little aspect of the game is important. That’s something that was addressed in the moment. He needs to execute the game situation. And for that matter, every player. But that one obviously stood out.”

Everyone always makes far too big a deal about running out grounders. It’s a real nit to pick when it’s February 23 and your team just finished playing an exhibition game that is even more meaningless than the other exhibition games that will be played in the coming month.

That being said, Castillo has to prove himself to merit inclusion on the 25-man roster and that means dotting all his i’s and crossing all his t’s. Even if he went hitless all spring, Castillo could have at least said he couldn’t have done anything else better. But on day one, he already gave his team a reason to count him out.