PAWTUCKET â€“ Felix Doubront is returning to his pitching roots. After serving as a left-handed option in Bostonâ€™s bullpen for a week-plus, Doubront will now serve as a member of Pawtucketâ€™s starting rotation.
â€śHeâ€™s going to start games,â€ť confirmed Mike Hazen, the Red Soxâ€™ vice president of player development. â€śHeâ€™ll probably be on a shortened pitch count to start, but weâ€™ll build him up from there. Heâ€™ll start the games.â€ť
Doubront was optioned to the minors on Monday, replaced by fellow lefty Hideki Okajima. The 23-year-old Doubront struggled mightily in his three relief outings for Boston, compiling a 6.75 ERA in three outings spanning 2 2/3 innings.
Mainly a starter throughout his pro career, Doubront made the switch to reliever last season after injuries/ineffectiveness took their toll on the Soxâ€™ pen. He was shut down during spring training with soreness in his pitching elbow only to be activated for Bostonâ€™s home opener on April 8.
Itâ€™s unclear when Doubront will make his first start for Pawtucket. He last pitched on Sunday against Toronto. On Tuesday night Doubront was listed on manager Arnie Beyelerâ€™s lineup card as a reliever.