Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
Tom Verducci, the excellent baseball writer for Sports Illustrated, has his annual story on the Year-After Effect out today.
Verducci lists those young (25 and under) pitchers whose innings increased by 30 or more from their previous professional high. Based on protocols established by Rick Peterson and Verducci's years of tracking the data, these pitchers are in danger of injury or regression.
Red Sox lefty Felix Doubront is on the list. He threw 31.2 innings more than his previous high.
Does this mean Doubront will get injured or pitch poorly? Obviously not. But it does mean he bears watching.
Globe: A red flag for Doubront?
If you haven't read Verducci's Year-After Effect, please do. It's a good read. It also reminds us that we're in the era of coddling young pitchers, making sure that they don't over do it and so they will hopefully turn out to be workhorses in the prime of their career.
Now as far as Felix is concerned, he just makes it on this list by throwing 31 2/3 more than his previous high, so it's not a major cause for concern as say the White Sox with Chris Sale who nearly tripled his previous career high. Plus the Red Sox are one of the teams that are usually very conservative with their pitchers, so they will be watching Doubront very closely. Ben Cherington feels confident in Felix and that he'll be a strong guy in the back of the rotation.
A good thing for Doubront would be for him to come into Spring Training into great shape, just like he did last year. Also with Franklin Morales & Alfredo Aceves hoping to crack the rotation, there is plenty of motivation for him to keep his spot. I don't think that Doubront will be regressing this year. I believe he'll throw the same amount of innings this season and even had a sub-4.00 ERA. He just needs another pitch to go along with that curveball and he should be good to go this season.