First baseman/outfielder Mike Carp has asked the Red Sox for a trade and apparently left-hander Felix Doubront wouldn’t mind leaving Boston either.
Doubront has been pitching out of the bullpen for about six weeks and after the Red Sox decided not to shift him back to the rotation following the Jake Peavy trade he went public with wanting to either become a starter again or be traded to a team willing to put him into their rotation.
Here’s what Doubront told Jason Mastrodonato of MassLive.com:
I just want to be a starter and stay there. If I stay, they have to know I have to be a starter. If I go, the other team is going to give me this chance to be a starter. … The thing is, if they say I have to prove myself, I already did man. It’s [messed] up. 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.
Here’s the thing, though: Those numbers Doubront refers to as “proving” himself aren’t any good. Doubront has a 4.47 ERA in 69 career starts, which is fourth or fifth starter territory and not particularly valuable, although so far at least he’s been even worse in the bullpen.
Meanwhile, manager John Farrell says:
There’s a clear role for him in the bullpen and sometimes performance guides where you’re slotted.
In other words, the Red Sox no longer think he’s good enough to be in the rotation, which is interesting because Doubront was a full-time starter in 2012 and 2013.
He’s still just 26 years old and under team control through 2017, so presumably at least a few teams would be interested in taking Doubront off the Red Sox’s hands and giving him the starting role he wants.
Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.
Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).
Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.
David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.
Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:
[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.
The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.