Red Sox pitching shuffle has been 'in the works'

Red Sox pitching shuffle has been 'in the works'
May 13, 2014, 6:45 pm
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Though it wasn't officially announced that the Red Sox would flip-flop starters Felix Doubront and Jake Peavy -- with Doubront, originally scheduled for Tuesday, pushed to Wednesday and Wednesday's starter Peavy moved up to Tuesday -- the move was actually in the works for a while.

Whoever started Tuesday would also pitch the series finale against Detroit at Fenway Sunday, and the Sox preferred to have Peavy make that start against Anibal Sanchez.

"We had the off-days to work with,'' explained John Farrell, "and we just wanted another righthander against Detroit.''

Ironically, Doubront who got to moved to the bullpen last October, pitched well against the Tigers in the post-season, limiting them to a single hit in two relief appearances while Peavy had a poor start in Game 4, giving up seven runs in just three innings.

But the Tigers have gotten more righthanded since then -- trading Prince Fielder for Ian Kinsler -- and had had more success against lefties with an .809 OPS, second-best in the American League.

"Just given the way their lineup stacks up and what they've done against left-handed starters,'' said Farrell, "and more than anything, the schedule, which gives us a chance to match up a little bit better.''

Farrell said the switch had been "in the works'' for the last week.''

The Sox will be off Monday, too, are in the middle of a stretch that has seen them getting four days off in stretch of 15 calendar days, but Farrell said no other changes were planned.

"The one thing we considered was, 'Were we better off keeping four guys on every fifth day? (while skipping one of the others),'' said Farrell, "but the more we looked at it, the more we started to look at the number of pitchers thrown, particularly by (Jon) Lester and (John) Lackey the last couple of times through and we felt like this was really the one chance we had to give them a little bit of a breather.

"We all know following Monday, we're in a (38 games in a 39-day stretch) and the weather's going to start warming up. So we felt this was a chance to given them (the extra rest).''