FORT MYERS, Fla. -- When Pedro Martinez observes Red Sox lefty Felix Doubront, he sees someone with all the talent to succeed at the Major League level. But Martinez notes that it's the mental side Doubront needs to sharpen to complete his development.
"He's so young and so full of talent that sometimes we take for granted the opportunity we're given," Martinez said. "The same way it comes, the same way it could go. All it takes is a bad injury and you're out of baseball. The only thing that prevents injuries is hard work."
Some observers have noted that Doubront doesn't appear to be in tip-top physical shape at the start of this camp.
"I believe he just doesn't know ... he hasn't been taught that he's going to be held accountable for his performance out there and the way he looks," Martinez said. "That this is really a serious business. I think it takes a little while to get him mentally prepared to understand the responsibility that he has on top of his shoulder and the whole Boston community and the team.
"He's so young and nowadays, these pitchers come up so young, so talented, they don't realize how much they're going to be counted on and I think Doubront is a good example. I think he needs to know that he's really important to this team, to the organization, to the community, to Boston, and that they are counting on him to be one of the big names.
"At the same time, he's still a young kid trying to develop and he's already in the big leagues trying to perform. You have to take that into consideration and be patient with him. At the same time, try to guide him through it and I think I can be a good access to him to learn about some of the things he has to do."
Doubront has been on a more conservative program at this juncture in camp because of some weakness in his throwing shoulder. He is expected to throw his first bullpen session on Wednesday.
Last season, Doubront went 11-10 with a 4.86 ERA in 29 starts. He started strong, but faltered down the stretch.
"Baseball is not easy," Martinez said. It wasn't easy for me. He has to expect it be tough. One thing I'm going to be with him, just like I always was with you guys, I'm going to be straightforward. And I'm going to say the way it is -- point blank -- the way it is. If he wants to hear it or if he doesn't, that's OK.
"If he doesn't, I just know that I want the best for him and I want the best for the organization and I would love to help him. I can't handle the fact that I have all this knowledge and I can't give it away. I hope he sees me as a good example of hard work and dedication and will to do things."