Red Sox manager John Farrell said that the decision to send right-hander Alfredo Aceves to Triple-A Pawtucket was based only on the pitcher’s results on the mounds. With the 30-year-old in possession of an 8.66 ERA in five appearances (three starts) this year, after finishing last season with a 9.27 ERA in 12 appearances (22 1/3 innings), questions about his off-field conduct did not play a role.
The decision, Farrell said, was “performance-based, solely — not just in the outings this year, but going back last six weeks, eight weeks last year, this was strictly performance-based,” said the manager. “He’ll start [in Pawtucket]. He’s just got to gain consistency. He’s healthy, and when he’s been consistent, such as the five innings in Cleveland, he pitched very well. The capability is there, yet we’ve got to get him back on track, not just inning to inning but outing to outing.”
Given the fact that there are inconsistencies on an inning-to-inning basis, Farrell was asked why Aceves will be stretched out as a rotation depth option in the minors rather than prepared for a potential bullpen job — returning, perhaps, to the role in which he became such an impactful contributor to the Sox in 2011. Farrell suggested that need played a considerable part in it.
The Sox expect to activate John Lackey on Sunday to rejoin the rotation as a fifth starter. Aside from Aceves, the only other viable starting depth options on the 40-man roster are Allen Webster and knuckleballer Steven Wright. (Rubby De La Rosa and Franklin Morales are not yet stretched out enough for big league starts; Drake Britton is in Double-A and not ready for big league action.)
The Sox seem somewhat less vulnerable in their bullpen. In addition to the current group of Andrew Bailey, Koji Uehara, Junichi Tazawa, Andrew Bailey, Clayton Mortensen, Daniel Bard and Alex Wilson, the team also has Joel Hanrahan and Craig Breslow nearly ready for returns.
Given that Aceves has struggled in both a starter’s role and out of the bullpen dating to last August, need dictated that his greatest utility to the Sox might be as a rotation option.
“There are other guys ahead of him in that bullpen role. I can’t say that the performance issues we talked about were solely in a starter’s role,” said Farrell. “We have other people who are ahead of him and regardless of the role, there’s got to be that consistency that we’re talking about. … He is a depth starter for us. Whether that’s six, seven, eight or nine is more predicated on rest and who’s available on a given day. He goes back to that role.”
Farrell said that Aceves accepted the team’s rationale for the move, saying that he accepted news of the decision “like a pro. Outlined the reasons for the move. He understood them, appreciated the opportunity, felt that he’d go down and work to get back here.”
Asked whether the decision to demote him had anything to do with some unusual incidents, from his comportment in a live batting practice session in spring training to his lapses of focus during his most recent start against the A’s or some comments that could have been construed as calling out his teammates after that loss, Farrell reiterated that those did not factor into Aceves’ assignment to Pawtucket.
“The issues or occurrences that you’re referring to were dealt with individually at the time. This was performance-based,” said Farrell.
Aceves has been asked to report to Pawtucket by Saturday, when the team returns from its current roadtrip.
Pete, Thornton and Price give their final thoughts and predictions for the Super Bowl.
Gabe calls the boys to handicap one of the biggest gambling days of the year - Super Bowl 51! Gabe has all the point spread info down and gets to all of the major prop bets that interest him.
Fauria is still down in Houston and calls live from NRG Stadium to give his take on what will go down later on in Super Bowl 51. He likes the Pats and gives his reasons why, but also gets into the scene in Houston all week, famous people he met and why he is tired out from a wild week.
The NBA trade rumor mill is beginning to swirl as the deadline approaches and Picard is ready to go! He talks about the possibility of Jimmy Butler coming to Boston, why Isaiah Thomas is not getting enough respect and the future of the Celtics.
Adrian Wojnarowski has been talking about the possibility of the Celtics making a trade with the Bulls to bring Jimmy Butler to Boston. He actually thinks it may be the the marquee deal to keep an eye on this week heading into the trade deadline. Pete and Jerry discuss and give their thoughts on if they would want Butler. Pete thinks it will happen, Jerry thinks Ainge will stay put. The guys get into more Celtics, present and future and if they can battle with the best of the NBA.
Anna Horford, sister of Boston Celtics Al Horford, makes her Boston radio debut. She talks about Twitter and reacting to mean tweets about her brother. She also gives us her thoughts on the city of Boston and racism.
Rob Bradford is joined by Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia to discuss the 33-year-old's longevity, his thoughts on Tom Brady's approach and what the real deal is when it comes to who is the leader in the Red Sox' clubhouse.
Rob Bradford talks with both Red Sox pitcher Matt Barnes, and assistant pitching coach Brian Bannister, about the fascinating project the reliever undertook in the final month of 2016. Barnes explains how he, with the help of others, made a concerted effort to emulate Dellin Betances of the Yankees and how that exercise helped turn around the former No. 1 pick's season.
Bradford checks in from spring training to give us all the media dirt he can dig up...oh, and talk some baseball too.
Guys talk the Bruins season so far and the All-Star Break
Guys discuss if or when the Bruins will fire Coach Julian
Ken, Rear and Ty get into a very solid week for the B's beating St Louis and the Flyers and losing a hard-fought game against the Predators. Is this team turning things around? Krug and Marchand are kicking things up a notch. The guys also talk about Claude and Sweeney's job security before getting into some big hits around the league this week.
Hour 4. Red Sox broadcaster Dave O'Brien joins the show.
Hour 3. The guys take more calls on transgender bathrooms. Evan Drellich joins the show...again.
Dino reunites with the guys at spring training.
Max Kellerman rips Pats fans. Skip Bayless says Bill Belichick is "good, not great." And Dan Le Batard feels the heat from Keyshawn Johnson regarding his criticisms of Magic Johnson.
It took a few hours, but Glenn finally starts to agree with Lou and Mut about Danny Ainge.
Obviously the Celtics aren't expected to overtake the Cavs in the East, but the guys wonder if the team is trying to get a little bit better each year, or hold onto their assets until LeBron is over the hill.
We spoke with Danny Ainge and discussed all aspects of the Celtics, trading deadline, playoffs and beyond.
We close out Freestyle Friday with more Pats, Sox and Celtics talk.
We continue freestyle Friday with Brady and Jimmy G trade talk, plus more on the Celtics and the Vancouver Canucks have the mumps!
Kirk and Glenn continue their conversation from last week. In this episode Kirk and Glenn scream at each other about the infamous "station incident", what the news of the merger means to WEEI and the Sports Hub, and Kirk tries to get Glenn to answer what the perfect "Big Show" would be. You will not find a better look behind the scenes of radio.
Kirk sits down with the legend Glenn Ordway to talk about when Glenn got fired here at WEEI, his start with the station, the controversial decisions he made when he was the Program Director, and he relationship with Eddie Andelman.
Kirk chats with David Duchovny about his current music tour, which takes him to the Wilbur on February 22nd, how David got his start in television, from his first stint on Red Shoe Diaries, becoming a superstar on the X-Files, and his hilarious appearances on the Larry Sanders Show. This is a fascinating discussion about show business and controlling your own career.
Ken Laird and Chris Curtis recap Wednesday and Thursday's K&C shows on location in Ft. Myers
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Hour 4. Evan Drellich joins the show. A fight for the ages ensues.More from this show