BOSTON — There were probably many times this season when Felix Doubront could have helped out the Red Sox, but injuries kept popping up at inopportune times. With Doubront fully healthy and the first of the team’s September call-ups, that chance is here, just in time for the stretch run.
"My arm's good, my legs feel stronger. I'm ready to go and help the team," Doubront said Thursday in the Red Sox clubhouse.
Doubront hit the disabled list multiple times this year after having a stunted spring wrestling with elbow tightness. He went 2-5 with a 4.22 ERA for Pawtucket, serving mostly as a starter until a recent conversion to a reliever, similar to last year.
The physical issues did little to detract from his potential value to the big club.
"He's had interruptions, nothing serious, but he’s throwing the ball very well," manager Terry Francona said. "We gave him starter's innings, just to accelerate his maturity as a pitcher. Now he'll throw out of the bullpen for us in September, and he’s done it for us before. He's kind of a unique, young guy, another one of our young guys that we've learned to rely on, and we won't hesitate to use him."
Indeed, with Franklin Morales the only other lefty in the bullpen, Doubront takes on immediate significance. He performed well in some high-leverage situations last year for the Red Sox and appears to be much more comfortable this time around, the product of another season in the system, albeit a trying one.
"I'm mentally pretty good, I've got my confidence back," Doubront said. "I've got that confidence back, my pitches are working. I’m feeling good."