David Ross on Felix Doubront: ‘You have to … prove yourself on a nightly basis’
|07.29.14 at 1:10 am ET|
Felix Doubront stood on the pitcher’s mound with his hands on his hip, glove on his right hand and ball barely hanging onto the tip of his left hand. Slowly, the boos began to make their way around Fenway Park as the crowd at hand for Monday’s 14-1 loss to the Blue Jays expressed its displeasure for Doubront’s six-run, six-hit, two-walk, no-strikeout performance in just two-thirds of an inning.
Manager John Farrell made his way up the dugout steps, signaling to the bullpen for righty Burke Badenhop to take Doubront’s spot on the mound and follow up on a performance that would not present itself as a challenge to top. As Farrell emphatically took the ball away from Doubront, the southpaw looked away, seemingly avoiding eye contact with the skipper while leaving behind the wreckage of a 13-0 deficit for his team in the sixth inning.
It was only when Doubront no longer had the ability to affect the outcome of the game that the Fenway crowd cheered.
“The thing is, if the [Red Sox] say I have to prove myself, I already did, man. It’s [messed] up,” Doubront said. “So if these guys say I have to pitch to prove whatever, no, they already know what I have. I showed them what I have, as a reliever and as a starter.
“For me, they don’t see the numbers, they don’t care what I’ve done in the past. It’s hard to be happy like that with these guys.”
Catcher David Ross, who said that Doubront is trying the best he can for the team, said that every player has something to prove on a nightly basis.
“This is the major leagues,” Ross said. “I don’t think anybody is given a free pass or anything like that. I think we all have to go out and try to prove ourselves on a nightly basis. That is part of winning. If you want to be a professional baseball player, you have to go out and prove yourself on a nightly basis.”
Farrell said he hopes that Doubront’s relegation to the bullpen has not affected the lefty’s performance.
“You’re asked to go out and execute pitches, and this is still a staff that has got competition within it,” Farrell said. “There are others that have moved ahead of him in the rotation, and opportunities present themselves coming out of the bullpen.”
Since being demoted to the bullpen on June 24, Doubront has struggled. As a reliever, Doubront has allowed 11 runs on 15 hits in nine inning, recording eight strikeouts, three walks and a 2.00 WHIP. Opponents are hitting .357, getting on base at a .400 clip and slugging .595 against the 26-year-old.
Farrell said that Doubront does not look disinterested and added that the lefty is capable of bringing more to the table than his performance Monday. Ross said that Doubront’s role as a long reliever is inherently difficult.
“Felix is trying the best that he can,” Ross said. “It’s hard to be sharp with that role he’s got. It’s a tough role and he came in and gave us all he had.”
While Doubront, who posted a 5.19 ERA, a 1.523 WHIP, 35 strikeouts and 23 walks in 50 1/3 innings in 10 starts in 2014, hopes to be traded to a team that will give him a chance to start, Monday’s train wreck of a performance will do nothing to open the eyes of any potential suitors.
“He’s been effective in the past coming out of the bullpen, but if the role is not sitting well and affecting his pitching,” Farrell said, “then there needs to be a different focus to realizing his potential and capabilities.”
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