BOSTON — Prior to their home opener Friday, the Red Sox underwent a significant shuffle in their bullpen.
Right-hander Matt Albers was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right lat and Dennys Reyes, who struggled in two of his four outings with the team, was designated for assignment. To replace those two, Boston called up Alfredo Aceves and Felix Doubront from Triple-A Pawtucket.
It's an early shakeup for a unit that the organization has tried to stabilize after a difficult 2010 season that saw too many lost leads. Although the perspective of a long season remains, there is still a desire to fix issues now, rather than later.
"We're trying to win some games," manager Terry Francona said.
Albers is expected to be OK once his DL stint ends. It was something he felt warming up in Cleveland.
Aceves, in a way Albers' replacement because of the fact that both are righties, was scratched from his start for Pawtucket on Thursday in order to make the trip to Boston. He impressed in his time in camp down in Fort Myers and was someone seen as the first option out of the minors if a starting pitcher was hurt.
Aceves who hasn't pitched in the majors since May 8 of last year, said he was very happy to get the call.
"I am thankful I get a chance to start the season here," Aceves said.
As for Doubront, Francona will have to use him carefully to start. The young lefty was shelved for a short period of time in spring training due to some elbow issues and has just recently reached a level of game preparedness.
However, Francona seemed overjoyed to have him back, and perhaps gave a hint that he wanted Doubront in the bullpen all along, even though the organizational mind-set is that he will eventually be a starter.
"I've wanted him to be in the bullpen here. I love having him in the bullpen this year," Francona said.
Reyes punched his ticket after an outing in Cleveland this week in which he threw 11 of 12 pitches for balls. He hit two men and walked another on four pitches. Francona called it "a very short look."
One other guy in the mix going forward is Hideki Okajima, but the team wants him to get settled in a bit at Pawtucket before he is a candidate to come up.