Alfredo Aceves - Here We Go Again

You have to wonder just how much longer the Red Sox are going to put up with the antics of relief pitcher Alfredo Aceves. He wore out his welcome with the Yankees in 2010. There were the much-publicized conflicts with former manager Bobby Valentine in 2012. Earlier this spring, there was the live batting practice session that featured Aceves basically lobbing pitches, to the point where new manager John Farrell had to pull the tempestuous pitcher aside and basically ask him what in heaven's name he was doing. The highlight of his participation with Mexico in the World Baseball Classic appears to be his involvement in a hockey-style brawl between Mexico and Canada.

Yesterday Aceves (seen being restrained by catcher Ryan Lavarnway) hit Tampa second baseman Sean Rodriguez in the 5th inning with a pitch he said was just a splitter that got away. On the surface it might appear to be just another batter who got in the way of a pitch. With Alfredo Aceves, however, there's always more to the story.

September 2011 - Aceves hits Rodriguez with a pitch. May 2012, Rodriguez hits what proves to be a game-winning home run off Aceves, and seems to enjoy a slow trot around the bases. Yesterday Rodriguez hits a home run off Aceves in the 3rd inning, then gets plunked in his next at bat. Coincidental? You do the math.

There's no doubt that Aceves has ability. He's pitched - and done so effectively - in a number of roles for the Red Sox. And with Craig Breslow and Franklin Morales expected to start the season on the disabled list, the Red Sox find themselves in the potentially unenviable position of relying on Alfredo Aceves to keep a lid on his emotions if they're to have a chance to compete in the American League East.

The guess here is that Aceves will break camp with the Red Sox, though not before being showcased by the team in an effort to find someone to take him off their hands. The Texas Rangers are said to have expressed interest in Aceves. Boston GM Ben Cherington would be smart to keep his Rangers counterpart's phone number on speed dial.

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