Felix Doubront didn’t make any major adjustments while rehabbing from a left shoulder strain that sent him to the 15-day disabled list on May 21. However, the Boston Red Sox pitcher is optimistic he’ll produce better results upon rejoining the club’s rotation.
Doubront, who slid back into the Red Sox’s rotation Friday with Brandon Workman serving a six-game suspension, posted a 2-4 record and 5.12 ERA through his first nine major league starts this season. Some of Doubront’s struggles have been attributed to diminished velocity, though the left-hander feels such concerns are overblown and that he’ll hit the ground running in his return.
“I think the velocity is there,” Doubront said Thursday, according to CSNNE.com. “My arm feels a lot better. The shoulder feels smooth and quick. The velocity is a process, but I feel the power. I don’t want to overthrow, just be normal with my arm speed and (Friday), we’ll see what kind of velocity I have and try to throw strikes.”
Doubront had success in three rehab starts — two with Triple-A Pawtucket and one with Double-A Portland. He struck out 10 over five hitless innings in his last rehab outing, during which he showed an uptick in velocity and better action to his pitches, according to Red Sox manager John Farrell. Boston’s hope is that Doubront, who has been an inconsistent starter over the years, can settle into a rhythm at the back end of the rotation after fine-tuning his release point in recent weeks.
“The arm speed feels good, but the mechanics are the same — nice and simple,” Doubront said. “I’m not trying to overdo anything. Just simple. My arm has to catch up to the front side. I’m trying to release the ball right in front of my face. That’s the key — just repeating my delivery and just pitch.”
The Red Sox are facing some interesting questions in their rotation with Clay Buchholz also expected to rejoin the major league club next week. Doubront will look to answer one by pitching up to his potential on a more consistent basis.
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