Last week Felix Doubront voiced his displeasure about being relegated to the bullpen. Doubront became one of the first Red Sox players to take a number in the “request-to-be-traded” line. On Wednesday, Doubront’s number was called.
The Doubront deal wasn’t the big deal that many Red Sox fans are restlessly awaiting as they checked in on social media a little more regularly than normal on Wednesday. That deal should come some time on Thursday as Jon Lester will almost certainly be moved.
Doubront has been a frustrating case study. The 26-year-old has flashed stretches of brilliance since being called up in 2010. Over six consecutive starts in May and June of 2012, Doubront had a 5-1 record and an ERA of 2.72. Over a 16-start span from mid-May to mid-August last season, Doubront flashed a 2.73 ERA and was the Red Sox best starting pitcher in a year in which they would win the World Series.
Unfortunately, Doubront hasn’t been able to put it all together over an entire season — never mind over his career. He ends his Red Sox career with a 4.82 ERA and an unsightly 1.48 WHIP. He has also seen his strikeout totals dip each of the last three seasons.
More important than the numbers, Doubront has seen his attitude worsen. Doubront has always seen himself as a starting pitcher. When he was sent to the bullpen recently, he wasn’t shy about saying he wasn’t happy. His last appearance in a Red Sox uniform may have been the final straw. He gave up six runs on six hits while retiring only two batters in a relief appearance against the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday night. His body language on the mound was of someone who just didn’t care.
The Red Sox had enough. They got tired of waiting. At one time Doubront was projected to be a middle of the rotation stalwart. The Red Sox wound up selling low and dealing him for a low-level prospect which will be named later. Quite the precipitous fall.
The Red Sox have slowly been peeling away the layers of this failed 2014 team. It began with Grady Sizemore. It dug a bit deeper with A.J. Pierzynski being released. It went even deeper with two-fifths of their Opening Day starting rotation being dealt in separate deals over the last week in Jake Peavy and Felix Doubront. Now fans await to have the heart of the team taken out if and when Jon Lester (and, to a lesser extent, John Lackey) get dealt. It’s amazing to think that 80% of the starting rotation from last year’s championship team could be dealt mere months after spraying beer and champagne on each other following last year’s World Series victory. Clay Buchholz would have made it a clean break if the Red Sox could find any takers– but he has been that bad.