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.
Christian shares what he believes will be the three keys to this Sunday's game against the New York Jets
OXBORO — WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price preview the Week 16 battle between the 11-3 Patriots and 3-11 New York Jets at MetLife Stadium.
We get a complete analysis of the Patriots and the NFL with Peter King of SI/MMQB.
Jackie MacMullen, ESPN Boston, talks with MFB about Rondo being traded to the Dallas Mavericks, and how this will have an effect on the Celtics rebuild process
How have the Celtics looked after a couple weeks? Could they be a playoff team? These questions and more...
Sam and Ben talk with Greg Dickerson about how fun this year's Celtics team is to watch as well Jeff Green trade ideas.
Mut, Rob, and Alex talk with former Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester. Jon talks about his experiences with free agency, what it would have taken to sign him to the Red Sox last season, and his experiences with fans since signing with the Cubs.
Mut, Rob, and Alex talk with newly signed Red Sox pitcher, Wade Miley. They talk about the story that came out about the D-Backs wanting him to switch to a gluten-free diet, and what he expects coming from the N.L. West to the A.L. East.
The boys are back at it, Mut, Rob, and Alex talk with former Red Sox pitcher and new Chicago Cub Jon Lester, they then talk with new Red Sox pitcher and ongoing consumer of gluten, Wade Miley.
Pierre joins the show to talk about the Bruins-Wild game, Bruins trade rumors, and the rest of the NHL.
Jack Edwards talks with Dale, Michael and Jerry Thornton and drops the bomb on us that based on how the standings look now, the Bruins could miss the playoffs this season.
Pierre joins the guys to talk about the Bruins and all things NHL
Curtis spoke with some nut jobs outside the courtroom.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
Jeff Goodman discussed the Rondo trade.
Christian quizzes Lou and Tim on which songs were used for torture by the CIA, and Tim is upset he couldn't remember Team America: World Police
Adam Schefter, ESPN, joins MFB to discuss Jim Harbaugh rumors, Rex Ryan's future, and why the Patriots may be better served by not wraping up the number one seed in the AFC this week
We check in with the playmaker, the hall of famer Michael Irvin for a look at the NFL and all things Patriots as they prepare to face the Jets.
Dale and Michael discuss the trade of Rajon Rondo, and whether it ultimately was a good deal for the Celtics.
We break down Rex and the Jets vs the Patriots with CSNNE's Tom E Curran
Kay comes into the show to try out for the textress role on the program. We learn about her favorite sports and fondness for Rajon Rondo.
Mikey, Mut, Lenny and Kerry Byrne are taling Patriots-Jets and the potential end of Rex Ryan's coaching career with the team.
Tonight marks 9 straight years of the Planet Mikey Show. We play some sound from the takeover which got Planet Mikey rolling .
Jen Royle joins the show to talk about The Taste and what its like working with amazing chefs and how her personality is going over with viewers.
What should Danny Ainge do with these Celtics? Is Anthony Davis the second best player in the NBA? Are the Warriors truly contenders?
Ryan Lambert of Puck Daddy joins DJ to discuss the "uncoachable(?)" Taylor Hall and revisit the Tyler Seguin trade. Ryan also shares his issues with how the Bruins are run.
Dale and Michael are live on the air as the Rondo deal goes down.More from this show