One of the bright spots in the Red Sox' 6-5 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Monday was, as has been the case all season, the work of reliever Alfredo Aceves. There are some that are hoping that one of the bright spots going forward is the work of starter Alfredo Aceves.
Designated hitter David Ortiz, who can see as well as anyone how poorly the Boston rotation has pitched of late, did not shy away from expressing his opinion on the matter.
"The way things are going, he should be starting," Ortiz told reporters. "Simple as that. Give it a shot."
Aceves emerged from the bullpen Monday and did what he's done all season, throwing three scoreless innings that gave his team every opportunity to come from behind and steal a much-needed victory.
That never happened, but his effort stood in such stark contrast to that of the man who did start the game, a critical one for a team that is watching its wild card lead spin around the drain.
That is no knock on Kyle Weiland, who may have a bright future, but he's a September call-up with four career starts under his belt and just three days of rest since his last one, during which he lasted three innings of a 9-2 loss to Tampa Bay.
Weiland, Andrew Miller, John Lackey and Tim Wakefield, the four guys that might ever get skipped in favor of Aceves, have combined to go 1-7 with an 8.24 ERA in 11 starts this month. Aceves, who posted a 1.15 ERA in August, has a 2.25 mark in September. Five of the righty's last 12 appearances have lasted three innings or more, a mark many of Boston's recent starters have struggled to hit.
Ortiz did not cite such numbers, but he used the old eyeball test.
"He's got good stuff, man," Ortiz added. "We definitely need a guy to come in and give six, seven good innings. He seems like he’s capable to do it, so we'll see."
Aceves threw 53 pitches Monday, so he's not available for a couple of days or so. Perhaps things will change in the rotation by the time he's ready to go again.
"We still have like, what, 10 games? Nine games?" Ortiz said when thinking of when Aceves could make a start. "It's not gonna be tomorrow. He already pitched. He's got electric stuff. We've seen that for awhile, right?"
Right. But Terry Francona still has to balance the desire to start Aceves with the idea of not having him in a lean bullpen to rescue the club, as he has done so many times before. It was a winning formula for four months of the year. With the way things are going, it might be time to try a new one. At least that's what Ortiz thinks.