BOSTON -- Alfredo Aceves’ demotion to Pawtucket, which came after GM Ben Cherington, manager John Farrell and pitching coach Juan Nieves met with the pitcher following Wednesday night’s game, was “performance-based totally,” according to the manager.
“Not just in the outings this year," Farrell said, “but going back to the last six weeks, eight weeks of last year. This was strictly performance based."
In 17 appearances dating to Aug. 23, all but the last three out of the bullpen, Aceves was 1-4 with a 9.00 ERA. He averaged 4.7 walks per nine innings, and gave up 11 home runs in just 40 innings. His last outing was his worst: Pitching on a cold, wet, windy night Tuesday, Aceves threw 42 pitches in a six-run third inning in which he walked three, committed two balks, made an error and was late covering first base.
“He’ll start [in Pawtucket]," Farrell said. “He’s got to gain consistency. He’s healthy, and when he’s been consistent, like in five innings in Cleveland, he’s pitched very well. The capability is there, yet we’ve got to get him back on track, from not just inning to inning, but outing to outing."
Farrell had alluded to a lack of focus on Aceves’ part Tuesday night.
“The results show it," Farrell said. “He’ll go out and string together a couple good innings. Other pitchers go through that as well. Again, looking at the overall body of work, it was performance related."
Aceves has more value to the Sox as a depth starter than as a reliever, Farrell said, primarily because the Sox have several relief options ahead of him in their estimation.
How did he handle the news of his demotion?
“Like a pro," Farrell said. “Outlined the reasons for the move, he understood them, he appreciated the opportunity and felt he’d go down there and work to get back here."
Aceves is expected to report on Saturday, the day the PawSox return from the road.