CHICAGO -- Felix Doubront doesn't know how long this opportunity with the Blue Jays is going to last, but he made the most of his second chance at a big league career with 6 2/3 strong innings in a 2-1 win over the White Sox on Tuesday night.
Doubront entered the game without any kind of guarantee about his future with the organization. If he didn't perform well, there likely wouldn't have been another shot, but that's definitely not the case any longer after his victory.
The 27-year-old Doubront flashed an impressive curveball and had good location on his fastball en route to allowing one run while striking out six in his season debut as a starter. The Blue Jays couldn't have asked for anything more.
"Real good curveball, good changeups and he had a little life on his fastball, that was very impressive," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He just looked like a starter out there. Using everything, Russell [Martin] did a great job getting everything out of him and he looked strong. There's something to be said about being a veteran."
Doubront became the third starting pitcher the Blue Jays have auditioned for the final spot in the rotation since right-hander Aaron Sanchez hit the disabled list with a strained lat. Scott Copeland initially got the job but was sent back to the Minors after three starts. Matt Boyd was next in line, but his two-outing stint was even shorter.
Toronto then turned to Doubront, and unlike the previous two, he was someone who had a lot of previous big league experience under his belt. The native of Venezuela spent parts of five seasons with the Red Sox and made 69 starts for them while compiling a 4.82 ERA.
Doubront's best season came in 2013 when he had a 4.32 ERA over 29 outings, including 27 starts. The ability to go with someone who actually had a previous track record is something the Blue Jays haven't had the luxury of doing much in the past, and it proved to be beneficial in Chicago.
"It came back, all of the memories from the past, and I was just trying to stay calm and throw my pitches and have fun," said Doubront, who dealt with a left shoulder injury late in 2014 and again early this year. "I was thinking from the first pitch to get the win and I did. That was awesome. I'm happy to be here again and to do my job."
Gibbons was asked after the game whether Doubront would get another start and his answer was simple: "Of course." That's hardly surprising, but the solid outing was something the Blue Jays desperately needed because the rotation has been a weakness this season. Until general manager Alex Anthopoulos is able to pull the trigger on a deadline acquisition, the club has to get by with its internal options.
That means Doubront will take the mound again on Sunday in Kansas City as the Blue Jays wrap up the first half of their season. There still isn't any kind of long-term commitment to Doubront, but in a lot of ways he controls his own fate. For as long as he puts up solid pitching lines, Doubront will keep getting the ball every fifth day.
"I was just having fun, man," said Doubront, who had a 2.44 ERA in nine starts with Triple-A Buffalo. "I can't worry about that because it's going to start getting into your mind and I probably wouldn't have the result I had today. I was just having fun, throwing strikes and keeping the hitters off balance."