Pitching jam: Doubront in pen, Rubby waits

June, 27, 2014
6/27/14
7:00
PM ET
NEW YORK -- Jake Peavy is scheduled to take his regular turn on Monday night in Fenway Park against the Chicago Cubs, said manager John Farrell, who abandoned plans to restore left-hander Felix Doubront to the rotation and said the team is still trying to figure out what to do with rookie Rubby De La Rosa.

De La Rosa has not pitched since last Saturday, after back-to-back strong starts in which he held the Twins to one hit in seven scoreless innings and allowed the Athletics a run on four hits in seven innings in his last start. Farrell has given every indication that De La Rosa has pitched well enough to warrant staying here, but for now the Sox pitching is lined up as Peavy on Monday, Clay Buchholz on Tuesday and Brandon Workman on Wednesday.

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Peavy has outstanding career numbers against the Cubs, going 7-4 with a 2.76 ERA in 17 career starts. The Cubs roughed him up in his only start against them in 2013, when he was pitching for the White Sox and faced the Cubs in Wrigley Field, where he allowed six runs on eight hits in four innings.

Peavy has won just once in 16 starts this season, his overall record 1-6 with a 4.93 ERA. In June, he is 0-4 with a 5.87 ERA in five starts, and was routed for seven runs on eight hits, including two home runs, in five innings last Tuesday night in Seattle.

It appears the Sox have decided to give him at least one more start before taking the drastic step of removing the former Cy Young Award winner from the rotation, though De La Rosa is a tantalizing option. Peavy is being paid $14.5 million this season, which means the Sox likely would take a significant financial hit if they trade him, although there are no talks currently percolating, according to a club source. Another option would be to find a creative way to place Peavy on the disabled list, giving him time à la Clay Buchholz.

Peavy has a lot of mileage on his gifted right arm -- this season he went over 2,000 innings, his total now at 2,043 innings. But he has fought his way back from rough patches before, and with his fierce competitive nature, the Sox may be hesitant to quit on him too soon.

Barring an injury, the Sox may have no other option but to return De La Rosa to Pawtucket, probably while offering assurances that his demotion will be a short-lived one. Farrell has said the club wants to get back to its full complement of 13 position players, and hinted that move could come as soon as Saturday.

Doubront, meanwhile, has been told he will remain in the bullpen, Farrell said, the change in plans a result of the Sox designating veteran Chris Capuano for assignment. Doubront would maintain the Sox quota of three lefties in the pen, along with Andrew Miller and Craig Breslow.

"His initial reaction suggests that -- he does view himself as a starter," Farrell said. "But as it was explained to him, that's where our need currently is, in the bullpen for him, and as well as other guys in our rotation are ahead of him.

"There are ways to get back into the rotation. That's to pitch your way back into it."

Gordon Edes

Red Sox reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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