Red Sox set starting rotation: Doubront fourth, Bard fifth, Aceves pushed back to bullpen

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The Red Sox made things official at the back end of their starting rotation on Sunday morning. Brian MacPherson, Red Sox beat writer for the Providence Journal, passes along the news:

And Alfredo Aceves has been sent back to the bullpen. Felix Doubront, 24, posted a 2.70 ERA in 16 2/3 innings this spring, Bard registered a 6.57 ERA in 24 2/3 innings and Aceves had a 5.50 ERA in 18 innings.

But the guess here is that the decision was made based on much more than Grapefruit League stats.

Doubront and Bard will follow Jon Lester, Josh Beckett and Clay Buchholz when the season opens.

Report: Angels to sign Cody Allen

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Angels and reliever Cody Allen are in agreement on a one-year contract, pending a physical. The value of the contract is not yet known.

Allen, 30, was looking for an opportunity to close and the Angels can certainly provide that. He will likely be the favorite to break camp as the closer. 2018 was the roughest year of his career, however, as he finished with a 4.70 ERA, 27 saves, and a 80/33 K/BB ratio in 67 innings. Among Allen’s six full seasons, his 27.7 strikeout rate and 11.4 percent walk rate represented career-worsts. FanGraphs also shows him losing nearly a full MPH on his average fastball velocity.

The Angels lost closer Keynan Middleton to Tommy John surgery early last season and he likely won’t return until the second half of the 2019 season. Blake Parker, who handled save situations in Middleton’s place, was non-tendered by the Angels in November and ended up signing with the Twins. The closer’s role is Allen’s to lose, it seems.