Felix Doubront‘s starts felt like Groundhog Day throughout much of 2012. Like most of the Red Sox’ pitchers, he tended to let the big inning get to him, but at times the young left-hander looked brilliant, using his vast repertoire, mid-90s velocity and devastating movement to great effect. But no matter how well or how poorly he was pitching, by the fifth inning you’d look down at the box score and invariably the 24-year-old’s pitch count would suggest he wasn’t long for the game. That clearly needs to change if Doubront hopes to take the next step in his evolution as a pitcher. His stuff suggests that he has the potential to be as dominant as any pitcher in baseball. But pure stuff and potential don’t matter much if you can’t command it. Throughout the year, most of Doubront’s struggles have been attributed to his green status. However, according to some statistical heavy lifting on the part of The Providence Journal’s Tim Britton, it’s just patently false that pitchers intrinsically improve their command and pitch efficiency as they age, which doesn’t necessarily bode well for Doubront. On the season, Doubront threw 2,868 pitches over the course of 161 innings, which works out to an average of 17.8 pitches per inning — just beating out Tim Lincecum for baseball’s worst rate among pitchers with at least 160 innings pitched on the season. That’s a mark that obviously needs to improve, but is it a function of maturity? Ask the coaches around Doubront last season, and that’s exactly what they’ll say.

Read more at: http://nesn.com/2013/03/felix-doubronts-pitch-efficiency-will-be-critical-for-pitcher-to-take-next-step-in-2013/