Thursday, February 10, 2011

Do You Trust This Man?

Theo Epstein said today that the Red Sox' newest pitcher, Alfredo Aceves, might be a good addition to the bullpen or might be a good potential starter to develop in Pawtucket as he figures out whether he's okay to pitch. It's similar to a lot of the other Red Sox reclamation projects, except to the best of my knowledge, he's under the age of 30 and he's not overweight.

The thing that bothers me is the fact that he's been compared to Ramiro Mendoza so many times. He can start, he can relieve, he's the perfect spot starter/long relief guy. And now we can draw another similarity: He's now gone from New York to Boston. Of course, this transition worked out poorly for the Red Sox when Mendoza was the guy doing it. Going 5-6 with a WHIP well over one and a half and an ERA of 5.73 is not a good thing.

Let's hope Aceves doesn't do that. Both for the Red Sox and for a guy who could use a break.

This transaction, to add something of value to this post today, is a pretty convincing sign that this team is a little bit unsure about what Tim Wakefield can bring to the team this year. With the exception of the first half of 2009, when he got (and deserved) the All-Star nod, Wakefield's performance has been somewhat alarming. But the kind of stuff Aceves would be doing is the kind of stuff Wakefield's tentatively in the role of. What, is Wakefield going to transition into a sixth-inning knuckleballer? Doubt it. Might be the end of the line for the Little Engine that Could. At the very least, Aceves is an insurance plan.


Anonymous said...


If the Red Sox season comes down to the production of Aceves/Wakefield then this team is in big trouble from the very start.

The answer to your question, however, depends on the context. Do I trust him to win 18 games and be an ace? No. Do I trust him to be even a successful fifth starter? No. But do I trust him to be an adequate pitcher in the role envisioned for him (spot starts, long-relief, Julian Tavarez-like comedic stunts)? Sure. He doesn't need to be great to fill that role. Nobody does. He just needs to be adequate and if he can't handle it, it won't be the worst thing in the world.

Also, on an unrelated note, last night the Celtics looked like they wanted the All-Star break to happen NOW. I know Pierce is ill and Shaq is hurt and that the bench is basically now Davis and Wafer, but come on, make a better effort. To that end, anybody who gets excited about the Lakers after last night needs to calm right down.

--the Gunn

Patrick said...

a few points:

1. i don't know if i made some kind of deal where the yankees are going to go 0-162 so that i could watch the johnnies beat 4 (four!) top 15 teams at the garden in one season. but if i did, i'll gladly take it. jim calhoun had to sit through almost two entire minutes of SJU walk-ons last night because they stuck it pukon that bad. to say that i was reinventing the "cheney uconn dance" from my seat in the stands last night would be an understatement.

2. is dv seriously going to be able to allow the blog to go without a post for a day as we try to slow it down? philosophically, i think he really wants to. i just don't know if he'll be able to do actually do it.

3. if healthy, al aceves is a very valuable piece. one of those guys doesn't operate in a traditional "key" role but still comes up with key performances. during the 2009 regular season, aceves was undoubtedly one of the yankees' team mvp's. he kept them in SO many close games in the middle innings (especially keeping small deficits small, allowing for so many of the yankees comebacks/walk-offs that year) and also in late/extra inning tie games, he kept the score tied. he gave the offense chance after chance to do their thing, and when you have an offense as good as the yankees that's always a good thing because chances are they'll eventually do the job. in order for them to do so, aceves had to do the job first and he did time and again. if he has a chance to contribute this year, i'm surprised the yankees didn't bring him back. that probably speaks to what the yankees thought of his current status.

4. no BEAT LA chants today?!?!

the gm at work said...


Your point there is extremely valid. And it is true that the Red Sox have more pressing issues than 1) Tim Wakefield's feelings and 2) How well the mopup guy is going to pitch.

The thing that bums me out the most about the Celtics' situation is that their goal was to have the best record so they could secure home-court throughout the playoffs. (That Sports Illustrated article about home-court/officiating just amplifies all points.)


I am thrilled that SJU beat UConn. I hate UConn possibly more than any team except for Purdue and any Bob Huggins team. And this is due to rivalries that haven't mattered since the mid-1990s. You know, like SJU's rivalries with anyone.

Your #2 point is the most accurate thing you've said on this blog for months. I really do want to slow it down. It's kind of like taking a day off from running. I know it's good for me, I know it's smart, and I know I could both use and afford it, but it's a philosophical thing.

Your #3 point reminded me of how much we actually talked about Aceves during that season. He really was a life raft for that squad during many points of that season. But my point (and it's obviously tongue-in-cheek) is that Ramiro Mendoza did the same thing and killed it for New York before sucking big-time for Boston.

Patrick said...

i have no such issue. if you told me that starting monday we were going to have no new posts and just one big running comments section for the rest of this year, i'd be totally fine with it.

your comparison between medonza and aceves was not lost on me. i knew exactly what you were getting at. i'm rooting for aceves to have better luck in boston than mendoza did, because he's at a much earlier juncture in his career and i'd like to see him be able to get back on track after these injuries.

to your point about SJU, considering how irrelevant they have been for most of the last decade, has steve lavin had more impact on any team i root for than any other person in recent memory? amare has to be up there. but what lavin is doing with the johnnies, from the recruiting class coming in next year, the incredible amount of signature wins this season, and making them a candidate for the ncaa tournament again, all in 10 months, is just amazing. aside from mike brey, you'd have to seriously consider lavin for big east coach of the year.

uconn is my second most despised team, any sport, to only the red sox. tied with the cowboys. more than the eagles, heat, syracuse, georgetown, all of them. i absolutely cannot stand that team.

Anonymous said...


That Cheney comment made my day. Great work. Very excited to see the Johnnies picking it up. What are they 14-9 now? Still need a strong stretch run and two wins in the conference tournament you would think?

Yes I know, it's not that black and white.