After allowing five earned runs on five extra base hits in just four innings of work in his latest outing, the Boston Red Sox have placed left-hander Felix Doubront on the disabled list with soreness in his shoulder. The 26 year old underwent an MRI on Wednesday to further assess the condition of his shoulder.
Doubront had looked strong in his prior two outings, but appeared to be off throughout his start on Tuesday. His velocity was down and as the game progressed his control also appeared to rapidly elude him. WEEI.com’s Joon Lee relays that the problems began following a four pitch walk in the second inning to Toronto Blue Jays catcher Dioner Navarro. Doubront started to feel a mild numbness in his left arm, which continued to worsen as he continued to throw. By the fourth inning he’d lost all feeling and was having trouble gripping the ball to make his pitches.
“The difference between his 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,” Boston manager John Farrell said following the game. “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.”
The Red Sox are describing Doubront’s injury as a simple shoulder strain, but there remains some uncertainty about how long he’ll be out of the starting rotation. WEEI’s Alex Speier noted that Doubront revealed after the game that the issue likely stems from slamming his shoulder into a car door. It’s unclear when, or how, that incident may have taken place.
Doubront has a 2-4 record and a 5.12 ERA through his first nine starts on the year. His next turn in the rotation would have been Saturday, at home against the Tampa Bay Rays. Boston has yet to announce who will be recalled to take his place, but much of the speculation has focused on right-handers Brandon Workman and Allen Webster. Workman has looked more impressive than Webster on the season to date despite their actual numbers, perhaps giving him the edge. He’s 3-1 with a 5.12 ERA and 1.293 WHIP over 38.2 IP. Webster is 2-2 with a 2.47 ERA and 1.280 WHIP in 54.2 IP, but has struggled with his command for much of the season. Rubby De La Rosa (2-3, 3.42, 1.246) is the scheduled starter for the Pawtucket Red Sox on Saturday (Workman is slated for Friday’s game, Webster will go on Sunday) and could be another option.