After a month of spring training games to make their decision, the Red Sox informed Felix Doubront and Daniel Bard that they will be the team's fourth and fifth starters to open the season. Doubront will get the ball in the team's fourth game on April 9, with Bard claiming the fifth starter spot.
The Sox whittled a field of seven candidates at the start of spring -- Alfredo Aceves, Daniel Bard, Aaron Cook, Doubront, Andrew Miller, Vicente Padilla and Carlos Silva -- to four final candidates in Aceves, Bard, Cook and Doubront. However, none of those four candidates fell from contention, leading the Sox to use almost the entire Grapefruit League schedule to determine how to proceed.
"Usually they'll kind of separate themselves by now, which really hasn't happened," McClure told WEEI.com recently. "They've all been pretty good, I think."
Doubront, 24, appeared in four Grapefruit League games, allowing five runs in 16 2/3 innings this spring (2.70 ERA). The left-hander, who has a career 2-2 record and 4.84 ERA in 23 career big league appearances, struck out 10 and walked six this spring. All three of his big league starts came in 2010.
Bard, 26, went 2-2 with a 6.57 ERA in six Grapefruit League appearances while attempting to pitch in the rotation for the first time since his pro debut in 2007. He struck out a team-high 18 batters but also walked a team-high 16 in 24 2/3 innings.
Aceves will return to the bullpen, where he was so effective a year ago. The right-hander logged 18 innings in five Grapefruit League outings. He gave up 11 earned runs in 18 innings (5.50 ERA), striking out 15 and walking just three. The 29-year-old was dominant as a reliever for the Sox last year, going 9-1 with a 2.03 ERA in 93 innings, while going 1-1 with a 5.14 ERA in four starts.
He made little secret about his desire to start last season, and while he said publicly that he would not be disappointed if moved back to the bullpen this year, there was evidently some dissatisfaction with the Sox' decision about how to use him.
"He wasn't happy about it, obviously," manager Bobby Valentine told reporters of Aceves' reaction. However, the manager added that there was a potential health situation in his bullpen that impacted the decision to have Aceves available in relief.
Cook, who signed a minor league contract with the Sox this winter, was held back at the start of spring as a precaution given the shoulder problems he'd experienced in the last two years. But he impressed once on the mound, with his turbo sinker allowing him to forge a 1.93 ERA (2 runs in 9 1/3 innings) with four strikeouts and three walks.
For complete Red Sox coverage, visit weei.com/redsox.
Greg and Chris talk more offseason happenings with the Pats and their plans. They talk about some of the free agents toward the bottom of the list with Stevan Ridley and Dan Connolly. Price thinks that Connolly could end up back with the Pats and Ridley elsewhere (Cowboys?), but Greg thinks they both could be back. They also chat about the departure of VInce Wilfork and what he meant to the organization, the re-signing of McCourty and more.
The very first airing of the offseason edition of NFL Sunday gets underway with Greg and Chris delving into the free agency period and how the Pats made out. Of course they lost Revis to the Jets, but what else went on? Greg isn't over the loss of Revis yet and the guys discuss what went into that whole ordeal. Price is looking forward to the additions of Chandler and Cadet. They also get a call from Mike Petraglia and get his thoughts on the Pats offseason moves.
We talk to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News about his column today which basically accuses the Patriots of sour grapes for asking the league to enforce their own rules against tampering.
Brow Buff's Sam Packard and Ben Kichen break down Marcus Smart's unfortunate ball tap, debate leadership in the Celtics locker room, and rehash the great Kevin Love to Boston rumors.
Flannery joins Mut to break down the Isaiah Thomas trade to Boston and what it means for the Celtics this season and in the future. Paul also chats with Mut about the other deals that happened at the NBA's trading deadline
We talk to Chris Mannix from SI to break down the C's acquisition of Isaiah Thomas and the crazy trade deadline in the rest of the NBA.
Mut, Tomase, and Bradford kick things off talking about Shane Victorino taking offense to people reading into some comments he made about trading for Cole Hamels. They also discuss Blake Swihart and how soon he could be up if Christian Vazquez starts the season on the DL.
Joe Kelly joined the Hot Stove show where he talked about being ready for his next spring training start after a biceps ailment forced him out of his last outing, he talks about his NCAA brackets and how teammate Wade Miley has a perfect bracket still.
Mut, Bradford, and Tomase kick off this weeks show by talking to Red Sox pitcher Joe Kelly about his biceps recovery, getting ready for the season and his NCAA brackets. They then talk about the Red Sox depth at closer with Koji Uehara questionable for the start of the season.
Jack Edwards of NESN joins Dale, Michael and Jerry. With 9 games left the Bruins don't have much if any margin of error, and Jack knows it.
DJ, Joe and Pete talk more playoff scenarios in hour 2 and if the Bruins can get in, they'll be a very dangerous team... to the point where DJ thinks teams would much rather face the Senators and are doing their best to oust the Bruins from the equation. It's become apparent now more than ever that Chiarelli probably needed to pull the trigger on a deal for a defenseman at the trade deadline. Also. Bruce Garrioch from the Ottawa Sun joins the boys to discuss the Hamburglar and the Senators and Bruins being neck-and-neck for a playoff spot.
With the Senators hot on the tail of the Bruins for a spot in the playoffs, Bruce Garrioch from the Ottawa Sun calls into Sunday Skate. He talks about "the Hamburglar" craze sweeping through the league as goalie Andrew Hammond has really stepped up for Ottawa. They discuss playoff chances, the fans' reaction in Ottawa and more.
The latest edition of the highly rated segment.
The great Lisa Scherber joined us to discuss today's trip to Fort Myers with 46 Jimmy Fund patients.
D&C's favorite author joined the show to discuss his new book.
We hear more audio from Christian's day between the pipes. He did his best to try and intimidate the small children shooting on him.
After Christian gave away his children's dog, we find out that Lola eventually found a better home.
During the recess of the Aaron Hernandez murder trial, Ted Daniel describes the first half of Shayana Jenkins testimony.
Dale, Michael and Jerry Thornton discuss David Ortiz's self-penned piece which took on such topics as steroids, the media, his contract and more. And we get into a back and forth about the fan perception of him in Boston, and why he can be so polarizing at times, even with the on-field track record he has.
Dale, Michael and Jerry Thornton discuss some of the testimony from Aaron Hernandez' fiancee, and try and judge how her words might change the outcome of this case.
Dale and Michael talk Bruins after they managed to snatch defeat from the claws of victory and blow a late game lead to the Anaheim Ducks. With the playoffs still in question, the Bruins need more efforts like that, and more luck.
Chris Price joins Mut to talk about how Revis will heat up the Jets-Pats rivalry next season
Mut opens his show talking about the New York Jets filing tampering charges on the Patriots
Mikey, Mut, and Lucy are talking about all things New England sports, the Red Sox spring training, more Darrelle Revis and Jets talk, and some Bruins mixed in.
Ben and Adam finish the odyssey that is the history of Wrestlemania. Wrestlemanias 21-30 are discussed and analyzed.
Mike Mulloy joins Chris in the studio to talk Raw and Wrestlemania.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.More from this show
Christian does not impress the high school girls hockey team.More from this show