BOSTON (CBS) – After his meltdown on the mound, and what some would call a mini-meltdown in the locker room, it’s unclear if Alfredo Aceves will be starting again for the Red Sox.
In his three starts for the injured John Lackey, Aceves has allowed 12 earned runs, 20 hits, four home runs and 10 walks over 13.1 innings pitched. On Tuesday night, he allowed seven earned over just 3.1 innings, and his comments after the game had some feeling he called out his teammates.
Always a volatile character, some feel Aceves may have pitched — and/or talked — his way not only out of the rotation, but off the roster on Tuesday night.
But no decision has been made as to who will toe the rubber come Sunday afternoon.
“The bottom line is just that: the bottom line. You’ve got to perform to continue to get opportunities,” manager John Farrell said Wednesday afternoon prior to Boston’s series finale against the A’s. “We’re undecided as far as Sunday goes as far as the starter. That will become more clear tomorrow after Lackey’s bullpen. I’ve had a chance to meet with Alfredo just to discuss last night — not so much the role going forward. But it still comes down to continuing to earn those opportunities.”
Whether Aceves will get another opportunity remains to be seen. Farrell named two other candidates, including young righty Allen Webster — who allowed just two earned runs in six innings of work on Sunday against the Royals — and Lackey, should he be ready to return from a biceps injury he suffered two weeks ago in Toronto.
Those multiple candidates, Farrell said, speaks volumes towards Boston’s evolving pitching depth though, more than anything Aceves did or didn’t do.
Or as some see it, anything Aceves said.
Following his abysmal evening on Tuesday, Aceves made a few comments that many felt was him calling out his offense. He questioned why the Red Sox hitters couldn’t get anything going against Oakland’s Bartolo Colon, but Farrell did not see the comments as being critical towards his teammates.
“I did read his comments. I will say this; setting the elements aside last night, Bartolo was probably as sharp as he’s been at any time this year. When he’s on, he can shut a team down. He came in here undefeated and he still remains that way,” said Farrell. “I don’t know if in that context, Alfredo was calling out his teammates. I don’t believe he was. There was some frustration and some, I don’t know how to describe it other than indecision on his part last night in that game. If that’s how he chooses to describe it, I wouldn’t put it on his teammates by any means.”
While Farrell tiptoed around anything definite, this is not the only time he’s had to speak with Aceves during his brief stint at Boston manager. He and his staff met with Aceves in the Spring when the pitcher didn’t follow instructions for a session. Farrell may be backing his pitcher with the media, but time will tell if these “incidents” — along with Aceves’ poor showings on the mound — lead to his demotion, or even dismissal, from the team.