Throughout spring training, the Red Sox have basically had an open competition for the final two spots in the starting rotation. After the obvious choices of Josh Beckett, Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz, manager Bobby Valentine had some tough decisions to make. Among those competing for the remaining two slots in the rotation were Aaron Cook and Alfredo Aceves.
Ultimately, Valentine named Felix Doubront and Daniel Bard to the starting rotation.
Despite the fact that Bard had a rough spring, allowing 18 runs in just over 24 innings, Valentine decided to stick with the 26-year-old and convert him from elite setup man to starting pitcher. Both Bard and Valentine feel as though he has made significant progress toward being a legitimate starting pitcher, even though his ERA is not where he'd like it.
Valentine also gave Doubront the nod ahead of Aceves, who will remain in the bullpen. Doubront allowed just five earned runs in 16 2/3 innings this spring. Aceves was reportedly unhappy with the decision and wanted to get a shot at the starting rotation. Regardless, Valentine seems confident with his selections.