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.
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Pete, Thornton and Price give their final thoughts and predictions for the Super Bowl.
Gabe calls the boys to handicap one of the biggest gambling days of the year - Super Bowl 51! Gabe has all the point spread info down and gets to all of the major prop bets that interest him.
Fauria is still down in Houston and calls live from NRG Stadium to give his take on what will go down later on in Super Bowl 51. He likes the Pats and gives his reasons why, but also gets into the scene in Houston all week, famous people he met and why he is tired out from a wild week.
The NBA trade rumor mill is beginning to swirl as the deadline approaches and Picard is ready to go! He talks about the possibility of Jimmy Butler coming to Boston, why Isaiah Thomas is not getting enough respect and the future of the Celtics.
Adrian Wojnarowski has been talking about the possibility of the Celtics making a trade with the Bulls to bring Jimmy Butler to Boston. He actually thinks it may be the the marquee deal to keep an eye on this week heading into the trade deadline. Pete and Jerry discuss and give their thoughts on if they would want Butler. Pete thinks it will happen, Jerry thinks Ainge will stay put. The guys get into more Celtics, present and future and if they can battle with the best of the NBA.
Anna Horford, sister of Boston Celtics Al Horford, makes her Boston radio debut. She talks about Twitter and reacting to mean tweets about her brother. She also gives us her thoughts on the city of Boston and racism.
Bradford checks in from spring training to give us all the media dirt he can dig up...oh, and talk some baseball too.
Rob Bradford is joined by Lou Merloni to talk life in spring training, his toiletries, sleeping arrangements, and facing off with Red Sox personnel that he might have been critical of. Rob and Lou also get into the dynamic of electronic and print media when it comes to ripping the Red Sox.
Pete, Bradford, and Tomase are talking all about the Boston Red Sox, who opened spring training on Monday with pitchers and catchers reporting. They talk about what the Red Sox approach at the plate will be to replace the loss of David Ortiz bat, the impact of some players participating in the WBC, and of course the pitching rotation.
Guys talk the Bruins season so far and the All-Star Break
Guys discuss if or when the Bruins will fire Coach Julian
Ken, Rear and Ty get into a very solid week for the B's beating St Louis and the Flyers and losing a hard-fought game against the Predators. Is this team turning things around? Krug and Marchand are kicking things up a notch. The guys also talk about Claude and Sweeney's job security before getting into some big hits around the league this week.
Hour 4. Evan Drellich joins the show. A fight for the ages ensues.
Hour 3. Kirk and Gerry react to their interview with Sale.
Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale joins the show.
Lou interviews JBJ, who talks about playing in a young outfield, and why he changed his number.
David Aldridge appeared on NBA TV to say that the Bulls don't want to trade Jimmy Butler to the Celtics for just picks. They want Jae Crowder, too.
Mike Freeman, Bleacher Report, thinks that the GM's around the league are positioning to make a run at Jimmy Garoppolo.
Dale, Michael and Keefe discuss the rumored increase in interest in Jimmy Garropolo and try and figure out what they'll get if they complete a trade for him.
Based on this string of tweets and his desire to fully test the free agent waters, it certainly seems logical that Marty Bennett will not remain with the Patriots for next year.
Dale, Keefe and Holley discuss the Celtics needs as the deadline looms. Even a minor move might make the team better.
Kirk sits down with the legend Glenn Ordway to talk about when Glenn got fired here at WEEI, his start with the station, the controversial decisions he made when he was the Program Director, and he relationship with Eddie Andelman.
Kirk chats with David Duchovny about his current music tour, which takes him to the Wilbur on February 22nd, how David got his start in television, from his first stint on Red Shoe Diaries, becoming a superstar on the X-Files, and his hilarious appearances on the Larry Sanders Show. This is a fascinating discussion about show business and controlling your own career.
Kirk Minihane sits down with Michael Holley for the first time on the podcast. Kirk and Michael have hosted shows together in the past but have never had a candid conversation about WEEI. Kirk and Michael talk about Holley's career in radio, his best selling books, and what his assessment of the current WEEI is. There are a lot of interesting behind the scene nuggets for anybody who has listened to WEEI over the years. This episode is brought to you by hellofresh.com. For Enough About Me listeners go to hellofresh.com and use the promo code kirk35 for $35 off your first week of deliveries.
Rich Keefe & Ryan Davey talk best and worst movie/TV presidents. Plus the always important "This Week in #DORK" and the Pick of the Podcast.
Ken Laird is in Boston, Chris Curtis in Ft. Myers and the guys find a way to produce a Tuesday post-show recap of K&C on location at Red Sox camp
The reigning American Cy Young Award winner (Rick Porcello) and Red Sox set-up man (Joe Kelly) share a meal, some drinks, stories and conversation with Rob Bradford at Twin Peaks Restaurant in Fort Myers.
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