BOSTON (AP) — Left-hander Felix Doubront was put on the Boston Red Sox's roster for the AL division series as a long reliever.
Doubront started 27 of his 29 games this season but was left out of the rotation for the best-of-five series against the Tampa Bay Rays. He was 11-6 with a 4.32 ERA.
The Red Sox are keeping 11 pitchers and the final spot apparently was between Doubront and lefty reliever Matt Thornton. Thornton split the season between the Chicago White Sox and Red Sox and finished with a 0-4 record and 3.74 ERA. In 20 appearances with Boston, Thornton was 0-1 with a 3.52 ERA.
Boston has five position players who weren't in Friday's lineup — catcher David Ross, infielder Xander Bogaerts and outfielders Daniel Nava, Mike Carp and Quintin Berry.
"His ability to pitch multiple innings" contributed to the decision to put Doubront on the roster, Red Sox manager John Farrell said.
Starter Ryan Dempster was moved to the bullpen late in the season to prepare for the postseason. With Doubront on the roster, Farrell has more flexibility to use Dempster for a few batters or several innings.
"I don't want to just pigeonhole (Doubront) into being the long guy, but his ability to go long or deeper in terms of a pitch count opens up some flexibility for Dempster," Farrell said. "We don't have to hold him back or use him exclusively as an early guy. If we feel like there's a matchup that's in our advantage, whether it's middle innings, late in the game, he's a possibility in this spot."