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Felix Doubront: ‘I don’t take anything for granted’

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Red Sox [1] left-hander Felix Doubront [2] arrived in spring training this year in what team officials considered suboptimal condition. He was not considered badly out of shape, but there was a sense of disappointment that, with an opportunity to solidify a place in the rotation, potentially for years to come, he was a bit behind other members of the staff in his conditioning. That, in turn, is believed to have been responsible for the fact that the 25-year-old experienced what he described as “discomfort” in the early stages of his spring throwing program, resulting in his being shut down and held about 7-10 days behind other pitchers on the staff.

Now, Doubront’s shoulder has recovered, and the left-hander is expected to throw his first bullpen of the spring on Wednesday. He suggested that he now feels as if he is in good shape to begin his spring throwing progression, while also suggesting that he did not consider his offseason conditioning an issue as he prepares for this year.

“Physically, I’m good. Something was wrong with my shoulder, but as far as physical [conditioning], I don’t think [that’s a problem],” said Doubront. “I think I was coming too quick [in a throwing progression], so I probably started feeling like, I shouldn’t do that. Now the [shoulder] strength is good. Now, I feel power. I feel real good.

“We’ll see [Wednesday],” he added. “I’m going to throw my first bullpen and see how it goes.”

Doubront said that, while splitting the offseason between South Carolina and Venezuela, he remained purposeful in his preparation for the season. After going 11-10 with a 4.86 ERA and more than a strikeout an inning in 29 starts, he was focused on solidifying his hold on a job in the rotation.

“I was just looking forward to the next year. Take a step forward in the rotation. I don’t take anything for granted,” he said. “[Spring training this year is] a lot different. Now, I have a spot, but I have to earn it completely. It’s there. I just have to earn it completely.”