Saltalamacchia: Doubront 'is doing a great job'

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Saltalamacchia: Doubront 'is doing a great job'

BOSTON -- Felix Doubront has been one of, if not the most reliable pitcher on the Red Sox staff this season.
It's just his first season as a starting pitcher, but you wouldn't know it if you looked at his now 8-3 record.
Doubront picked up his eighth win of the season on Wednesday night while allowing four runs on nine hits and a home run in six innings. The eight wins is tied with Clay Buchholz for most on the team.
And like Buchholz the night prior -- when he picked up his eighth win of the season -- Doubront was the recipient of some pretty generous run support against the Miami Marlins at Fenway.
Before Clayton Mortensen relieved Doubront of his duties, the Red Sox had already put up 13 runs.
"Sometimes it's just the luck of the draw," said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine after Boston's 15-5 win.
"So far, he's showing a lot of toughness," Valentine later added. "And the guy on third base is not a gimme. Infield back, guy on third, early in the game, late in the game, whatever it is, he really bears down and makes his best pitches, it seems, with runners in scoring position."
Doubront said after the game that he was missing his spots for most of the night, which led to some struggles. But he did get out of several jams and limited the damage in his six innings.
"Kind of a slow start," said Doubront afterwards, who also admitted he was affected by the extreme temperature. "I felt down a little bit in the first inning. And the rest of the game I tried to pick it up a little bit more, and be more effective."
By limiting the damage on a night that he clearly didn't have his best stuff, Doubront showed the type of battle that his teammates are now used to seeing every fifth night from him.
"Doubront did a great job," said Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. "He didn't have his command like he always does. But he fought. He fought his way through it, did a great job and that shows how good of a pitcher he is.
"His makeup, the way he's been throwing the ball, going after hitters with his fastball. He's just a calm kid that goes out there, and, you'd think he's been in the big leagues for 10 years. And he's just starting this year as a starter. So, I mean, he's just a great kid and is doing a great job."

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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.