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.