Tag: Felix Doubront

Felix Doubront Injury: Updates on Athletics P’s Recovery from Tommy John Surgery

Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Felix Doubront underwent Tommy John surgery on Tuesday.

Continue for updates.

Doubront’s Estimated Recovery Time Is 12-18 Months

Tuesday, April 12

Jane Lee of MLB.com reported Doubront’s surgery was successful, and the pitcher will begin his rehab on Friday. Doubront’s wife posted a photo of the pitcher on Twitter after the procedure: 

On Monday, the San Francisco Chronicle‘s Susan Slusser noted the timetable for Doubront’s eventual return, based on the span often associated with those undergoing Tommy John surgery for the first time. 

The 28-year-old southpaw began his career with the Boston Red Sox but has bounced around a lot since 2014 in brief stints with the Chicago Cubs, Toronto Blue Jays and now with the A’s.

Doubront has a unique sweeping delivery but hasn’t lived up to his potential in the big leagues, posting a career record of 31-26 with a 4.89 ERA to date. Now he has an uphill climb just to get back to the mound in light of Monday’s severe injury news.

Based on the rather surprising move the A’s made in the first place to keep Doubront in their rotation and option Jesse Hahn to Triple-A, it stands to reason Hahn will get the call-up to be Oakland’s new No. 5 starter.

Twenty-six-year-old Sonny Gray, who is a solid ace but is the only proven commodity in the Oakland rotation, headlines the A’s staff. Hahn, Kendall Graveman and Chris Bassitt have potential but are inexperienced.

Manager Bob Melvin shouldn’t have too much trouble adjusting to Doubront’s absence. It’s bound to create even more opportunities for Graveman, Bassitt and Hahn, who will hopefully round out a solid staff of the future using the 2016 campaign as a springboard, pivotal development year.

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Boston Red Sox Should Have Felix Doubront on a Short Leash

The Boston Red Sox are scuffling as the calendar turns to May, and Felix Doubront is becoming a poster boy for their struggles. Soon, he could be a part of a wave of changes for the team, as the Red Sox should think long and hard about replacing Doubront in the rotation if his inconsistency persists into late May and early June.

The Venezuelan left-hander threw six innings of three-run ball against the Rays on Thursday night in what was one of his better starts of the year. That effort dropped his ERA on the season to 5.70, as Doubront earned a no-decision while registering a quality start, keeping his team competitive in the second half of a doubleheader.

While Doubront was far from dominant, every non-disastrous start is of importance for him, as he looks to stave off competition from a number of intriguing young pitchers, experienced starters in the Boston bullpen and the possibility of a midseason trade for a starter. The Red Sox have no shortage of options if they decide to replace Doubront, and it’s something they should begin to consider more seriously in the near future.

On the season, Doubront‘s 5.70 ERA is accompanied by a 6.3 K/9, 3.6 BB/9 and a 1.57 WHIP. He’s already allowed five homers and 35 hits in 30 innings and is averaging just five innings per start. According to FanGraphs, he’s been worth 0.2 fWAR.

In a way, the six-game sample size with which we have to work from Doubront‘s 2014 season perfectly represents what’s made him so frustrating to watch throughout his career. So far this season, Doubront has had one good start, three acceptable-but-uninspired starts and two disastrous starts. According to Bill James’ Game Score, which rates performances on a scale that uses 50 as average, Doubront has scores of 47, 25, 47, 61, 25 and 52, respectively, this year.

What we’re seeing from Doubront is nothing new. In fact, over his first six starts last season, Doubront was actually worse than he’s been in 2014, registering a 6.03 ERA with an opponent batting line of .307/.390/.420. He then went on to throw 79.2 innings of baseball with a 2.71 ERA from mid-May through July before fading down the stretch.

Doubront ended up producing 2.8 fWAR of value last season, finishing with a 4.32 ERA, 3.78 fielding-independent pitching (FIP) mark and respectable walk (3.94) and strikeout (7.71) rates. Still just 26 years old, it’s understandable why the Red Sox don’t want to give up on that sort of potential just yet.

But the Red Sox got off to a roaring start last season, and they were able to to live with some bumps in the road as Doubront worked through his early struggles. Boston also lacked the plethora of options in the high minors that they have today, so Doubront‘s leash was a bit longer than it should be in 2014.

Doubront is out of options and can’t be sent to the minor leagues, but Boston could use the ever-popular “phantom DL” stint to allow him to work through his issues while on a rehab assignment. Or they could transition Doubront to a bullpen role, which is a role he excelled in during the 2013 postseason.

If Boston does decide to pull Doubront from the rotation, here are some of the options they have to replace him:


Rubby De La Rosa

The general sense I get is that De La Rosa has faded a bit from Red Sox fans’ collective consciousness since his inclusion in the “Nick Punto deal” from mid-2012. When De La Rosa came to Boston, his prospect status was already exhausted, and unlike fellow former Dodger Allen Webster or other young arms like Matt Barnes or Henry Owens, he did not make yearly appearances on major prospect lists.

While many thought the Red Sox would use De La Rosa out of the bullpen due to his history of arm troubles, Boston instead elected to stretch “RDLR” out, and that’s a call that appears to be paying off. After an up-and-down 2013 season in Triple-A, De La Rosa is dominating in 2014, as he has thrown 27.2 innings in Pawtucket with a 2.28 ERA, 8.13 K/9 and 2.28 BB/9.

De La Rosa still isn’t pitching late into his starts, and the sample size right now is too small to declare that his troubles with command and control are completely in the past. But it’s been a very promising start to the year for De La Rosa, nonetheless, and he’s a strong candidate to replace Doubront as a long-term option with significant upside.


Brandon Workman

Workman is good enough to pitch important innings out of a major league bullpen right now, and that is indeed the role in which he began the season. But after Craig Breslow returned from the DL, Workman was sent back to Triple-A to continue his development as a starter and to get stretched out for possible use in that capacity in Boston later in the season.

The immediate results haven’t been very pretty, as Workman has been roughed up in three starts in 14.1 innings for Pawtucket. But this is a player who has already proven to be an effective pitcher, both in Triple-A and at the major league level, albeit in small sample sizes. The upside with Workman is modest, but he’s a very useful arm to have in the organization, nonetheless.


Chris Capuano

Capuano lacks the sex appeal or name value of the plethora of young pitchers down on the farm, but he could be Boston’s choice if they simply decide to skip Doubront for a turn or two in the rotation rather than replace him altogether. A fellow southpaw like Doubront, Capuano lacks Doubront‘s upside, but he is a steadier performer.

Capuano has been dominant in the bullpen this season, so it would hurt to lose his arm at a time when Edward Mujica and Koji Uehara are struggling. But he’s also proven to be an adequate-if-unexciting starter as recently as last year, when he made 20 starts for the Dodgers. The Red Sox probably wouldn’t want him to approach that number of starts this season, but he could serve the team well if he gets three to six outings.


Allen Webster

Fans who don’t follow the minor leagues and only remember Webster from his disastrous MLB stint last year will cringe at this suggestion, but there is more to Webster than meets the eye. He might have the best pure stuff of any of Boston’s promising young arms, and he has the most experience at Triple-A, too. He’s off to a decent start in Pawtucket this season, as he continues to refine his command and work on inducing ground balls.

In some ways, many of the problems that plague Doubront—command, mental toughness, a propensity to give up homers and repeating his delivery—plague Webster, too. Yet the upside is there for Webster to perform as a No. 3 starter who throws the occasional clunker, and the Red Sox wouldn’t be nuts to give him another shot in the major league rotation.


Other Options

There are other potential in-house choices to replace Doubront as well. Henry Owens has the highest upside of any Red Sox minor leaguer (with the possible exception of De La Rosa), and he could be ready for the majors later in the year. Matt Barnes’ upside is a tick below Owens’, but he’s a bit closer to being MLB-ready. And Anthony Ranaudo is another option if he starts throwing well in Pawtucket.

If Doubront‘s struggles persist into the middle of the season, the Red Sox could also use their highly rated farm system to swing a deal for a mid-rotation starter, similar to what they accomplished last year in acquiring Jake Peavy. In fact, for a rebuilding team looking to shed salary and take on a player with some upside, Doubront may be a fairly enticing trade chip as part of a larger package.

That’s getting ahead of ourselves, of course, and I firmly believe that Doubront deserves another few turns in the rotation before the Red Sox make a drastic move. Boston apparently feels that way, too, as Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported Thursday that the Sox aren’t considering bumping Doubront from the rotation just yet.

But with Clay Buchholz also struggling mightily and the Sox finding themselves three games under .500 in May, Boston can’t afford to run Doubront out for another 10 starts if only half of them are going to be competitive. At some point, they need to use the wealth of minor league talent they’ve accumulated to improve the major league team.

Doubront‘s future with the Red Sox is completely in his own hands. Whether that will prove to be his saving or his undoing is anyone’s guess.

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What Should the Boston Red Sox Expect from Felix Doubront in 2014?

The Boston Red Sox have begun 2014 with Felix Doubront as the No. 3 starter in their rotation.  After holding down the No. 5 spot the past two seasons, the 26-year-old is now entering his third full year in the big leagues.  Is the talented lefty finally ready to make the most of his potential?

In 2012, Doubront posted an ERA of 4.86, and last season, he trimmed that down by over half a run to 4.32.  A similar improvement this year could place him among the more successful starting pitchers in the American League.

Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston recently wrote the following about Doubront:

The left-hander came to camp in far better shape than a year ago, and may be on the cusp, at age 26, of a breakout season. He made some mechanical adjustments to tighten his delivery, and if he develops some greater consistency in his fastball command, he could be a big winner.

Doubront himself shares a similar outlook, via Mass Live’s Jason Mastrodonato:

“This is a big year for me. I know that and I went into the offseason thinking that. I have to be strong, mentally and physically and try to be healthy the whole year. You never know what’s going to happen, but you have to be prepared.”

However, there is an argument to be made that in Doubront‘s case it may actually be very easy to predict what is going to happen in 2014.  With the exception of his ERA, Doubront has put up nearly identical numbers in each of the last two seasons:

  Games  Wins Innings  Hits  Walks  WHIP 
 2012 29  11  161  162  71  1.45
 2013 29  11  162.1  161  71  1.43

Doubront‘s first start this year fell very much in line with what one might expect from looking at the above statistics.  On April 3 in Baltimore, he allowed six hits, a walk and three earned runs in 5.1 innings pitched.  His performance was nothing to write home about, but on that day, it was good enough to earn the victory.

Tuesday, Doubront will take the mound for the second time this season, facing the Texas Rangers at Fenway Park.  A potent lineup that features multiple left-handed hitters, Doubront could easily shut them down, or get lit up—but chances are he’ll give us something somewhere in between.

Even if Doubront doesn’t make any major strides in 2014, in a rotation featuring veterans Jon Lester, John Lackey, Clay Buchholz and Jake Peavy, another campaign as a serviceable No. 5 starter should suit the Red Sox just fine.


Statistics courtesy of RedSox.com.

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Boston Red Sox: Boston Should Already Be Concerned About Felix Doubront

The Boston Red Sox haven’t played an exhibition game yet, but they should already be worried about the future of Felix Doubront.

Last season was Doubront’s first full season with the Red Sox and he had his fair share of moments. In 29 starts, he went 11-10 with a 4.86 ERA in 161 innings of work, striking out 167 while walking 71. His inability to go deep into each game was one of the things that really held him back in 2012, averaging less than 5.2 innings per start.

Coming into 2013, Doubront’s spot in the starting rotation looks to be secure. He’ll likely be the No. 4 starter, pitching behind Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz and Ryan Dempster and ahead of John Lackey.

But that’s only going to happen if everything goes according to plan in spring training. And even though it’s early in camp, things haven’t gone Doubront’s way.

On Tuesday, Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe reported that Doubront will be limited in spring training due to shoulder soreness, according to manager John Farrell:

“Not because of injury situations,” said Farrell. “Just maybe some discomfort and overall strength that they [Doubront and Craig Breslow] felt in their long-toss program. More precautionary than anything.

“When they got aggressive in their long-toss program there was some sensation in there, a little bit of irritation. Want to be clear that it’s not an injury situation.”

Since when is shoulder discomfort not an injury situation? It certainly seems like one to me, especially if the Red Sox are going to limit his workouts going forward.

As Scott Lauber of The Boston Herald points out, Doubront was shut down for a couple of weeks in August due to shoulder fatigue. Lauber notes that Doubront did bounce back in his final four starts of the season, but that the number of innings Doubront tossed was a lot more than he’d ever thrown in the past.

Before throwing 161 innings in 2012, Doubront’s previous career-high was 129.1 innings in 2008 between Single- and Double-A. The large increase in workload makes you question whether the Red Sox pushed him too hard last season, especially since there wasn’t much to play for late in the year.

But putting 2012 behind Doubront, all he had to was come into spring training healthy and in good shape and it turns out he didn’t do either. His shoulder is already an issue and Lauber reports that he wasn’t in the best shape either:

Now I’m not stating that the Red Sox need to take a ton of action due to Doubront’s lackluster start to spring training. Boston shouldn’t sign free-agent starting pitcher Kyle Lohse and the Red Sox will probably refrain from doing so, according to Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe.

But someone like Franklin Morales should take note of Doubront’s limitations and take full advantage of them. Morales is going to be stretched out this spring and could easily end up in the starting rotation come Opening Day should someone—Doubront, cough, cough—falter.

Doubront seems to have his head in the right place, though, according to Lauber.

“The goal for every year for every pitching is the innings: more than 200 innings or close to 200 innings” said Doubront. “That’s one of my goals. The first goal is to stay healthy and the second is probably the innings. If you do that, the rest comes—ERA, wins, losses.”

If Doubront was so set on his goals, how come he didn’t come into camp in shape?

And in regard to hitting 200 innings or close to that mark in 2013, if I’m the Red Sox, I wouldn’t even test it. General manager Ben Cherington should take a page out of Washington Nationals GM Mike Rizzo’s book and put an innings cap on Doubront in 2013 like Rizzo did with Stephen Strasburg last season.

The Red Sox are going to have a lot of decisions to make in the near future with their starting rotation, but Doubront looks like he will be there for a while. If Boston wants to preserve the future of its young left-hander, they need to be smart and make sure he doesn’t really hurt himself in the upcoming season.

Boston has already taken the first step of limiting his spring training workload and don’t be shocked if the Red Sox limit his regular season as well. His future is much more important than throwing an additional 35 or so innings in 2013.

The Red Sox need to make the safe call with Doubront or else he’ll be the next young starter with plenty of potential that never panned out. 

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Boston Red Sox: Doubront and Bard Win Rotation Battle, Aceves to the ‘Pen

At last the waiting is over. Even though it hasn’t officially been announced, we now know who the two lucky winners of the spring battle for the No. 4 and 5 spots in the Boston Red Sox starting rotation are; Felix Doubront and Daniel Bard.

Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham reported the upcoming pitching plans for the next couple of days that virtually leaked the starting rotation for the season.

According to Abraham, Clay Buchholz will start in a minor league game tomorrow. On Thursday, Alfredo Aceves will start against the Toronto Blue Jays and Felix Doubront will start in a minor league game. On Friday, Daniel Bard will start against the Minnesota Twins.

If all goes according to Abraham’s plan, the rotation would be set up as Lester, Beckett, Buccholz, Doubront and Bard.

Abraham notes that it probably isn’t a coincidence that Doubront will pitch in a minor league game instead of starting against the Blue Jays because the No. 4 spot in the rotation will face off against those same Blue Jays on April 9th.

If this serves to be true, Alfredo Aceves would start the season in the Boston bullpen and take the role of spot starter, if necessary. 

Doubront has had an excellent spring and truly won the spot in the rotation. In four starts he went 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA, striking out 10 and walking six in 16.2 innings pitched.

The plan going into the spring was to transition Bard into a starting pitcher and even though he hasn’t done as well as many have hoped, he’s starting to get a feel for starting. In five appearances this spring, he’s 1-2 with a 7.23 ERA in 18.2 innings.

Although Alfredo Aceves had three great games to start the spring, he got hit hard against the Phillies, allowing nine earned runs on 10 hits in just three innings to eliminate him from contention.

It was a great race to watch this spring, seeing who was capable of what and who would start the 2012 season in the Red Sox rotation.

In the end, the best decision was made, with Doubront and Bard taking the No. 4 and No. 5 spots.

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