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Heyman Joins Gresh & Zo: Aceves As Red Sox Closer?

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Red Sox pitcher Alfredo Aceves. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Red Sox pitcher Alfredo Aceves. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

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Boston Red Sox

BOSTON (CBS) –  With the Red Sox just two days away from opening their 2012 season, CBS Sports MLB Insider Jon Heyman joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Gresh & Zo with the latest on Josh Beckett and Andrew Bailey’s thumb injuries.

While the Red Sox do not seem too concerned with Josh Beckett, who was in Cleveland with Bailey to see a hand specialist and surgeon Tuesday morning, Heyman thinks his first start of the season could be in jeopardy.

“I think if you’re going for a second or third opinion, and flying out to do that, I don’t think you can say you’re a guarantee to pitch that first or second outing,” said Heyman. “I have to think it’s in jeopardy; I’m just using logic.”

While Beckett may be out for just a start or two, if any, the news about Bailey is far more concerning. It appears the new Red Sox closer is heading for surgery, and will likely miss upwards of half the season.

“That is a bad one. There is no competition there, you don’t want to lose a closer. I know Bobby already had concerns about the bullpen to begin with,” said Heyman. “You brought two people who hadn’t dealt with Boston, and now it looks like one might be out half the year. You have (Mark) Melancon, who looks like he is the closer to start, and he isn’t proven as a closer in a big market setting. He didn’t have a great spring, so there is concern there.”

McAdam On DA Show: Red Sox’ Options At Closer

“Your closer options without Bailey are (Alfredo) Aceves, Melancon and (Vicente) Padilla,” said Heyman. “I think so highly of Aceves; I think he could do anything. He potentially could see a start early on with what’s going on with Beckett. But I see him as closer early on; that would be my pick over Padilla or Melancon.”

Is there any chance Daniel Bard ends up as the Red Sox’ closer? And how will the record deal San Francisco signed Matt Cain to affect Jon Lester when he becomes a free agent?

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