DETROIT — A few bits of news from Bobby Valentine's press conference just now:
• Alfredo Aceves is the closer.
"On the days when Alfredo’s not available, if Mark Melancon is available, he’ll be doing it. I think the guys leading up to that will be very credible," Valentine said. "Just from what we’ve seen this spring and [Aceves is] a little more familiar with the American League. He was in the plans while he was starting.
"He loves competition. I think he’s one of the better competitors that I’ve seen. I could be wrong, I haven’t seen him up close and personal in battle. But I believe that he’s a very good competitor to say nothing of a very good pitcher."
• The Sox are keeping 13 pitchers for now. Vicente Padilla, Scott Atchison and Justin Thomas were all added to the 40-man roster. No word on the corresponding moves as of yet.
“Obviously what we’re doing here without Andrew Bailey has not been totally planned for. So we’re going to try and protect the other members of the bullpen as we iron out this entire situation,” Valentine said. “I don’t expect to be at 13 [pitchers] the entire season. Or possibly even for the [first] homestand. But it could be.”
• Josh Beckett is fine. "The nature of the injury is that it’s really not much of an injury. I would think, because he’s been cleared to pitch and compete and I haven’t been told about any limitations he might have," Valentine said.
• For some reason, there seems to be angst over the idea of Valentine accepting a deal to do a weekly radio interview with ESPN Radio in New York. "What, there aren't any Red Sox fans in New York?" Valentine cracked. “I’ve known Michael for a long time; I’ve known ESPN for a long time. They asked and I agreed.”
Told that some in Boston may be dismayed, Valentine smiled.
“There are going to be no secrets on that show. It'll all be to do a show and they’ll be happy.”
He also said he would be doing a weekly show in Boston.