|SEATTLE, WA - JULY 01: Starting pitcher Felix Doubront #61 of the Boston Red Sox pitches against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on July 1, 2012 in Seattle, Washington. The Red Sox defeated the Mariners 2-1 in ten innings. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)|
For a good stretch of the season, Doubront was the glue that held this patch-work rotation together. His consistency was unmatched by the "big three", or so they call them. Last night though, the Venezuelan southpaw continued a downward trend against the Mariners, despite the Red Sox pulling out a win to split the series.
Doubront battled his mechanics, which in turn led to poor command, through 4 1/3 IP, allowing 5 free passes and hitting a batter. He allowed just 3 H and 1 ER, but had he been facing any team in the AL East, the game would have been out of reach early. With 15 games left against the Yankees alone this season, that's a concern.
Over his last five starts, Doubront has posted a 5.94 ERA, with four rough starts and one good one mixed in against the Marlins during interleague play. If you're Bobby Valentine, you have to be concerned for the second half of the season, which by the way is the most important part.
The recent struggles of the 24 year old, combined with the frail shoulder of Josh Beckett and Daisuke's recently rehabbed elbow are the reason Valentine has elected to utilize a six-man rotation until the break. Maybe that, and the break itself will do some good.
We have already seen some resilience out of Doubront, so we can't count him out, but the workload is a concern. Right now, the Red Sox have options in Morales and Cook. That may not always be the case. It's something to keep an eye on going forward.
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