FORY MYERS, Fla. — Felix Doubront was out of shape and had a sore elbow a year ago at this time. But he started and threw two solid innings against Boston College in the second game of the doubleheader tonight.
The Sox won the game, 6-3. Mike Aviles had two doubles and two RBIs and Juan Carlos Linares two RBI.
A 24-year-old lefty, Doubront allowed only an infield single and threw 15 of his 20 pitches for strikes. He has improved the footwork on his delivery and now lands on his toes instead of his heel, which helps keep the ball down.
“My delivery was awesome,” he said. “I worked hard in my bullpens. It feels normal. … I can throw more strikes.”
Said Bobby Valentine: "He threw all his pitches extremely well. Seems like he's probably a little ahead of the rest of the pitchers with his command and stuff right now. He's looked that way since he's been here."
Doubront is a legitimate contender for a spot in the rotation. He has long been an organizational favorite and has impressed Valentine in camp.
“I have a lot of confidence. I feel pretty much ready to be in Boston and a starter for the team, Doubront said. “That’s what I’m working to show the manager, that I want to be there.”
For Doubront, getting in better condition this winter was crucial after an injury-filled 2011 that saw him pitch only 87.2 innings.
"My offseason was the most important to me. I worked hard to get rid of the injuries from the past. I worked more on my legs and shoulder," he said. "I feel a lot different. My body feels more light. There’s less pressure on my arm and my legs are more strong now."