After the failures (and subsequent injuries) of John Lackey, Daisuke Matsuzaka, et al., the Boston Red Sox entered spring training in 2012 without a bona fide No. 5 starter. They have brought in a number of pitchers to compete for the rotation slot, with grizzled veterans and inexperienced rookies alike getting their shot at a major league job.
Although some candidates have already fallen out of contention, the competition is still in full swing as the Sox enter the stretch run of their Grapefruit League schedule. While several pitchers have pitched well enough to warrant consideration, one among them is especially deserving of a spot in the Sox’s rotation: Felix Doubront.
Doubront has spent his entire career climbing through the Sox organization, and he is now poised to take the next step in his career. Now is the perfect opportunity for the Sox to give him a chance to prove that he is a capable major league pitcher.
After being given a few small chances with the Sox in the previous two seasons, Doubront will likely get a chance to spend the full season with the club this year even if he is not chosen as the starter. He has proven everything he can in his 614.1 minor league innings, and the only logical place for him to spend this season is in Boston.
As a starter over the course of his entire career (he started 131 of his 134 minor league appearances), Doubront’s arm is best suited for the rotation rather than the bullpen. He has the pedigree (3.65 career ERA in the minors) deserving of an opportunity to flourish in that same role for the Red Sox.
There is a myriad of other reasons, too, that Doubront belongs in the Red Sox rotation on Opening Day. Here are 10.