FORT MYERS, Fla. — Then there were three.
In alphabetical order, Alfredo Aceves, Daniel Bard and Felix Doubront are the remaining candidates for the final two rotation spots. That is, of course, barring a trade.
Andrew Miller (hamstring) has fallen out of the race. Bobby Valentine essentially said that Vicente Padilla has suffered the same fate because of a hamstring strain. Aaron Cook, who pitches tonight, can't get stretched out in time for the season. He threw 31 pitches over 3.1 innings in his last start. Getting to 85-90 pitches and six innings might would be asking a lot.
That leaves Aceves, Bard and Doubront. At the moment, Aceves and Doubront may be the favorites.
Valentine said today that Bard would pitch again in four days. Is it a start? "Right now it is," he said.
Bard has a 7.11 ERA in 12.2 innings, Doubront a 3.38 ERA in 10.2 innings and Aceves a 1.00 in 9.0 innings.