The Red Sox has finalized their rotation. The big question heading into the season was who was going to be their number 4 and 5 starter. Not a question anymore, it will be Felix Doubront and Daniel Bard.
Let’s start with Doubront. He had the best spring of any Red Sox starter. He had a 2.70 ERA, 10 Ks, 6 BB in 16 innings. The Ks are decent, the ERA is great, the 6 BBs is higher then I like, but no one is perfect. As a 24 year old lefty, he has a pretty good upside. He plays for a very good team, but also plays in the hardest division in baseball.
Now for Bard. Bard did not have a good spring in almost anyway. He had a 6.57 ERA, 18 Ks, 16 BB in 24 innings. This is a harder one to figure out. Previously Bard has served as a reliever – a great one. Coming out of the pen he has a lifetime ERA of under 3.00 and has more Ks then innings pitched. Clearly he can pitch. Well, clearly he can pitch out of the bullpen. Bard is a real risk reward guy right now. He has good stuff, but it may not translate to ‘starter’ stuff. Most viewed him as the future closer of the team, not the future ace. If Bard put’s it together, he could be in for a good season. If not, he will be sent back to the pen.
For fantasy, although I think Bard has the higher upside, I would take Doubront first – it’s just safer. Although Bard is not unownable, you have to proceed with caution. As it is, until they show what they’ve got for at least a few starts, these guys are best left for AL only and deep leagues.