FORT MYERS, Fla. -- If Boston Red Sox pitcher Alfredo Aceves was testing how far he could push the limits with new manager John Farrell, the right-handed reliever quickly found out during a live batting practice session Sunday.
When Aceves toed the rubber on field 4 in the late morning at the team’s spring training facility behind JetBlue Park at Fenway South, he was barely lobbing the ball toward the first few batters he faced, similar to actual batting practice. Pawtucket Red Sox pitching coach Rich Sauveur stood behind the mound and could be seen telling Aceves to speed it up. The pitcher did not listen.
Suddenly, from behind the cage, Farrell walked down the third-base line and stared at Aceves before finally asking the pitcher if there was something wrong.
“Alfredo, are you OK?” Farrell yelled out.
Aceves nodded and continued his odd routine.
The idea of live BP should benefit the pitcher because they’re seeing a batter in the box for the first time this spring. A batter rarely will swing at a pitch, but during Aceves’ session, many of the hitters were hacking away and fouling balls into the area between practice fields where fans were standing.
Finally, new Red Sox pitching coach Juan Nieves halted the session and walked out to Aceves on the mound. The two could be heard speaking Spanish. After the pitching coach exited the mound area, Aceves started to actually pitch.
After the session was complete, Farrell signaled for Aceves to join him behind the cage and the two spoke for a few minutes as Nieves joined in.
“The one thing I’ll say about that is, he didn’t go through the drill as intended and we’ve addressed it,” Farrell said after Day 7 of spring training was complete.
The Sox manager was pressed further on Aceves’ live BP session.
“His session on the mound didn’t go as intended. He’s healthy. It’s been addressed,” said Farrell.
Apparently, Aceves was upset because he was scheduled to throw first at 10:45 a.m. Instead, John Lackey pitched in that time slot. When asked if that was an issue, Aceves said it wasn’t. He was then asked what Farrell and Nieves said to him afterward his session.
Aceves was a bit standoffish, and answered, “That stays in the team.”
Farrell had addressed his idea of the team concept and philosophy with all the players during the annual spring training meeting on Friday. He reiterated that point to Aceves on Sunday.
“There are 25 individuals on this team, but there are certain things that are going to be accepted and I think those are normal in any kind of clubhouse, or team setting,” Farrell said. “If someone strays out of that, that’s our job, or my job, to make it clear on what’s expected.”
Aceves did say he was pleased with his throwing session.
“Of course,” he said. “Of course.