BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Red Sox have their replacement closer.
Alfredo Aceves will replace the injured Andrew Bailey in the back of the bullpen, manager Bobby Valentine announced Wednesday in Detroit.
On days that Aceves is not available, Valentine said Mark Melancon will get the call in the ninth inning.
“Just from what we’ve seen in spring and (he’s) a little more familiar with the American League,” Valentine said of the decision. “It wasn’t just one little situation.”
Aceves began spring training in hopes of making it as a starter. The final two spots in the rotation went to Daniel Bard and Felix Doubront, but given Aceves’ ability to pitch for multiple innings, Valentine said he would not be afraid of using his new closer for multi-inning saves.
“He loves competition,” said Valentine. “I think he’s one of the better competitors that I’ve seen.”
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Over his four-year career, Aceves has notched four saves in eight opportunities with the Yankees and Red Sox. The rubber-armed righty was a key member to the Boston bullpen in 2011, going 10-2 with a 2.61 ERA.
Andrew Bailey, acquired from the Athletics in the offseason to be Boston’s closer, is set to undergo surgery to reconstruct the ulnar collateral ligament in his right thumb on Wednesday, and is likely out until after the All-Star break.