Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
Last season Alfredo Aceves was one of the Red Sox most valuable and versatile pitchers. This season, he has been a pale shadow of that pitcher. And while the Red Sox season has been lost for some time, Aceves’ increasing volatility – both on the mound and away from the mound – has made him into an increased liability, a threat to any hope the team might have of salvaging wins in this wasted season.
Aceves demonstrated that Saturday afternoon in the 12th inning against the Orioles at Fenway Park. In just two-thirds of an inning, he gave up three runs on three hits, giving the Sox their fourth straight loss. He took the loss, falling to 2-10 with a 5.31 ERA. He is also tied for the major league lead with eight blown saves.
“You saw it,” manager Bobby Valentine said. “He threw first-pitch changeup. [Jones] swung and missed that. Then he threw I think a cutter away that wound up a double. Got Wieters on a pop-up. Didn’t advance the runner. Good job there. And threw a cutter to Thome that he left out over the plate, bounced over the wall. Thought he could get Chavez. He got a base hit.”
But, it is not just Aceves’ latest outing that is disturbing. It is his recent outings and rash behavior that are cause for concern.
Since Aug. 23, Aceves has appeared in nine games, spanning 16 1/3 innings. In that stretch, he has allowed 19 earned runs on 22 hits and eight walks with 14 strikeouts and four home runs. In that span he has posted a record of 0-3 with two blown saves and an ERA of 10.47.
The time to send Aceves home has been lingering for a few weeks now. The time to do it was when he refused to give Valentine the ball when taken out of the game. The Sox didn't need him, they are a better team with out him, yet he stuck around and continues to blow games. It's not like they mean anything, but it is nice to see some wins once in a while.
It is too bad that it had to play out like this, because of the pitcher he was for the Sox last season. No one expected him to be lights out from the 'pen, or be a reliable spot starter. All of that went up in smoke this season and we saw a pitcher that became a complete asshole when he didn't get his way. He wanted to be a starter, and he bitched about that. He got accustomed to being the closer, sucked at it, and bitched when Bailey came back and became the closer.
He is a terrible piece to have on this team and the Sox should have sent him away weeks ago.
On Page 2, What is going on with Ellsbury?
There's still no update on the undisclosed injury that's keeping Boston Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury out of the starting lineup for the third consecutive game.
When asked how long Ellsbury would be out of the lineup, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine wasn't sure.
"Oh, gosh, I have no idea," Valentine said. "Probably be conservative, cautious. But when he's ready to play, we'd love to have him play."
ESPN Boston: Ellsbury out again with undisclosed injury
Jacoby Ellsbury's injuries are getting old very fast. The one thing that the Red Sox keep quiet about is his injury. I guess that's a start.
This better be just a minor muscle pull, or cramps, or anything but a major injury. There have been talks that next season will be his last in Boston, and I would like to see it be a good one if that is the case. Injuries have been devastating this season, so now is a good time to be cautious with Jacoby, rather than letting it linger into next season.
The rest of the links:
Herald: 'Pen falters after 4 perfect frames | Future comes to visit Fenway | Extra-bad Aceves | James big part of Red Sox re-Bill-ding effort | Orioles following Showalter's lead | Extra innings are Orioles strange and improbable domain | Globe: Matsuzaka lined up for game 162 | Aceves playing his way out of town | Aceves gives it away to the Orioles in the 12th | ESPN Boston: Sox honor minor league award winners | CSNNE: Sox offseason to -do list | Sox bullpen offers glimpse of dominance | Sox continue to struggle in extra-innings