The Boston Red Sox had a rough April and are hoping to turn over a new leaf in May. One of many reasons why the Red Sox are struggling is because of the subpar performances of the starting rotation and Felix Doubront is the poster boy for the struggles. The Red Sox should start thinking and considering replacing Doubront in the starting rotation if his struggles continue all throughout May and into June.
Felix Doubront pitched six innings and allowed three runs in the loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. The crazy part of his start is that was one of his better starts because it dropped his ERA to 5.70 on the season. His start also has important for the entire Red Sox team to stay competitive in the game and he was at least able to tally a quality start.
Other than that “quality start”, Doubront’s performance this season has been far from superb. He is going to need more starts where he can go at least six innings and not give up any runs if he wants to save his job in the starting rotation at the 2014 season continues. The Red Sox have a lot of talented young pitching prospects down in Pawtucket just waiting for their names to be called. Doubront is going to have to step up his game before one of these young studs takes his place before the aging veterans of John Lackey and Jake Peavy retire.
To Doubront’s defense, this is just a repeat of what we saw from him last season. At this point last season, Doubront was actually worse than how he is currently with a 6.03 ERA in 2013. As the 2013 season continued, Doubront starting pitching the way we expected him to with a 2.71 ERA from mid-May all the way through the end of July before fading away down the stretch. The Red Sox were in a different situation last season because they were off to a roaring start and they are currently two games under .500 this season.
Felix Doubront is out of minor league options and cannot be demoted to Pawtucket, even if the Red Sox don’t want him on their pitching staff at all. The only option the Red Sox will have is if they demote Doubront at least into the bullpen and give a minor league player like Allen Webster, Chris Capuano, Brandon Workman or Rubby De La Rosa spot starts in that open slot in the rotation. I will admit that I’m getting ahead of myself in these possible options, but Doubront’s leash is getting shorter and shorter. But according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Red Sox are not planning on bumping Doubront out of the rotation at this time.
The Red Sox could also use Doubront as an active trade chip to acquire a mid-rotation type of starter like they did with Jake Peavy last year. Any rebuilding team will want to take a chance at a 26 year old lefty with some upside and shed some salary in the process. I felt that Doubront should have been traded last season and I still feel that way this season because defending World Series champions like the Red Sox cannot afford to have an inconsistent pitcher in their starting rotation.
Time is running out for Felix Doubront before I really lose my patience with him. It’s up to Doubront to improve quickly, play a crucial role in turning the Red Sox around and save his job.