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Felix Doubront on shoulder fatigue: ‘I couldn’t feel my shoulder; I felt weird’

05.21.14 at 12:27 am ET
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It was only a fleeting moment in Tuesday’s 7-4 loss to the Blue Jays, but the moment changed the course of the game for Felix Doubront. In the process of a four-pitch walk in the second inning to Blue Jays catcher Dioner Navarro, Doubront began to feel different. His arm was starting to feel odd. In fact, he began to feel nothing at all in his left arm.

The numbness began to snowball. Pitch by pitch, the sensation started to grow and grow — to the point where Doubront could hardly feel the grip on the baseball. That sensation, subsequently, began to spread, affecting the lefty’s ability to locate his pitches and generate the arm speed to create the velocity to complement his offspeed pitches.

“I couldn’t feel my shoulder,” Doubront said. “It was weird. I felt weird.”

Doubront’s inability to grip the baseball, let alone locate his pitches, had obvious impact on the lefty’s performance. As the numbness grew, Doubront’s effectiveness diminished. After the walk to Navarro, Doubront’s ability to execute his game plan disappeared completely.

That subsequently translated to five runs on five hits (all extra-base hits) that Doubront allowed in his four-plus innings of work.

The difference between the last two starts, when he made a mistake in the middle of the plate, they squared it up pretty good and when he came out in the fifth inning, it was clear that the overall power to the stuff started to diminish,” Farrell said. “He feels some restriction in the shoulder where he is not able to generate normal arm speed. That’s why we had to get him out of the game at that point, but they capitalized on our mistakes once again, particularly with the home run.”

As Doubront progressed through his outing, the velocity began to drop. Entering play Tuesday, Doubront averaged 92 mph on his fastball and had not averaged below 91 mph in any of his starts in 2014. On Tuesday, Doubront floated around 87-90 mph, ultimately dropping to 87-88 mph in his final inning of work, a clear sign to the lefty that something was not right.

Doubront has never felt anything like this before.

“That was the first time,” Doubront said. “That’s why I tried to call [pitching coach] Juan [Nieves] and explain to him what was the situation.”

Doubront will be evaluated tomorrow and undergo an MRI to determine what was causing the tightness in his left shoulder. When asked if he was worried about the results, Doubront paused and sighed.

“We’ll see tomorrow,” he said.

(For a look at the Red Sox‘ potential options to fill in for Doubront, click here.)

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