Felix Doubront tells the Red Sox: Start me or trade me

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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.

Umpire Cory Blaser made two atrocious calls in the top of the 11th inning

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The Astros walked off 3-2 winners in the bottom of the 11th inning of ALCS Game 2 against the Yankees. Carlos Correa struck the winning blow, sending a first-pitch fastball from J.A. Happ over the fence in right field at Minute Maid Park, ending nearly five hours of baseball on Sunday night.

Correa’s heroics were precipitated by two highly questionable calls by home plate umpire Cory Blaser in the top half of the 11th.

Astros reliever Joe Smith walked Edwin Encarnación with two outs, prompting manager A.J. Hinch to bring in Ryan Pressly. Pressly, however, served up a single to left field to Brett Gardner, putting runners on first and second with two outs. Hinch again came out to the mound, this time bringing Josh James to face power-hitting catcher Gary Sánchez.

James and Sánchez had an epic battle. Sánchez fell behind 0-2 on a couple of foul balls, proceeded to foul off five of the next six pitches. On the ninth pitch of the at-bat, Sánchez appeared to swing and miss at an 87 MPH slider in the dirt for strike three and the final out of the inning. However, Blaser ruled that Sánchez tipped the ball, extending the at-bat. Replays showed clearly that Sánchez did not make contact at all with the pitch. James then threw a 99 MPH fastball several inches off the plate outside that Blaser called for strike three. Sánchez, who shouldn’t have seen a 10th pitch, was upset at what appeared to be a make-up call.

The rest, as they say, is history. One pitch later, the Astros evened up the ALCS at one game apiece. Obviously, Blaser’s mistakes in a way cancel each other out, and neither of them caused Happ to throw a poorly located fastball to Correa. It is postseason baseball, however, and umpires are as much under the microscope as the players and managers. Those were two particularly atrocious judgments by Blaser.