The answer to this question is easy. He is buried in the Sox bullpen. When the season began, the 26-year-old Venezuelan was listed as the number 4 starter behind Jon Lester, John Lackey and Jake Peavy. But after a poor start and the emergence of Brandon Workman and Rubby DeLa Rosa (and later return of Clay Buchholz) he was exiled to the pen in the notorious spot of “long reliever”.
Since the beginning of July, Doubront has appeared four times, mostly in throwaway roles. Last night he came in facing a 5-1 deficit. He has not pitched particularly well in the pen, but I’m not sure how much that means.
Doubront signed with the Sox at the age of 17 in 05, and he has had his moments. After an average-to-good minor league career, he appeared in 23 Sox contests in 2010 and 2011 before making the team to stay in ’12. The lefty impressed early (5-2 in his first 10 starts), but eventually faded to 11-10 with a 4.86 ERA on a squad that won only 69 contests. He improved somewhat last year at 11-6 and 4.32, even earning a relief victory in Game 4 of the World Series.
There have been some knocks on Doubront- that he has lost velocity and not stayed in shape. His 2014 stats are unimpressive- 2-4 with a 5.08 ERA and has also spent time on the DL. He relies largely on motion rather than speed, though his fastballs have sometimes reached the low 90’s.
I don’t believe Doubront will be traded at the break- there would be little market for an erratic hurler at the end of the bullpen bench. But the Sox must determine his role- is he a permanent long reliever or is there hope of his returning to the rotation at some point? At age 26, he deserves one more starting shot. It would make sense to see what he could do, especially if Peavy departs.