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It’s safe to say that the 2012 season for the Red Sox was a complete disaster, from the Bobby Valentine drama to the departures of several key players, including Kevin Youkilis, Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett. Another notable headache was pitcher Alfredo Aceves.
With Andrew Bailey on the disabled list to start the season, the Sox needed a fill-in closer. Bobby V chose Aceves to assume the closer role in the interim. Considering Aceves led the league with eight blown saves, it’s clear he was not the right guy for the job.
Aceves finished 2-10 with a 5.36 ERA, 75 strikeouts, 1.32 whip and 25 saves. In addition to the rough year, Aceves became a bit of a distraction for the team. So, Aceves has to go, right?
Wrong. The Red Sox would be smart to bring him back.
In defense, Aceves has never been a closer, instead serving as a middle/long reliever and a starter in his career.
Before 2012, Aceves only had three career losses and never finished with an ERA higher than 3.54 (2009 with the Yankees) in any season.
Just because he had a rough season, people seem to want him out rather than giving him another chance. If he does return (which he should), Aceves will never be a closer but should still be part of the bullpen.
When the firing of Bobby V came shortly after the Sox season ended, I’m sure Red Sox fans and players were happy with the move. Bobby V caused problems all year, from when he called out Kevin Youkilis’s commitment to the game to telling the media David Ortiz did not really want to play at the end of the year.
One player in particular that had a big problem with Bobby V was Aceves, who was suspended by the team after getting into a heated argument with Valentine over the use of Andrew Bailey in a save situation.
His relationship with Valentine likely led to his subpar year. With John Farrell now leading the Sox, fans should be patient to see how Aceves turns it around rather than judging him based solely the 2012 season.
In his first season with the Red Sox in 2011, Aceves finished 10-2 with a 2.61 ERA, 1.11 whip, and 80 strikeouts. If Aceves can get back to these types of numbers next season, then his 2012 season could be considered an off-year.
The 2012 season was not just a disaster for Aceves, but for the whole team. Heading into 2013 with a new manager, the team is going to change for the better. One of the changes will be Aceves turning himself around to the way he has pitched in the past.
Still just 29, Aceves still has plenty of baseball left ahead of him.
Here’s why the Red Sox should resign him.