FORT MYERS, Fla. — Alfredo Aceves is playing for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic. The team starts play on March 7 in Arizona.
Mexico is in pool play with Italy, Canada and the United States. The top two teams advance to the semifinal round in Miami starting March 12.
"It's an honor to play for the native Mexicans," Aceves said. "Hopefully we can play before 50,000 people, that would be great."
Red Sox manager John Farrell is under the impression that Aceves will be a starter for Mexico. But that is apparently news to Aceves.
"I'm just going to show up and do whatever they want me to do," he said. "I'm not sure what they want."
Aceves said he took a few weeks off after last season then started a program that involved working out five days a week, resting on Saturday and then playing for a local team on Sunday.
Aceves said he played for "The Banditos" and proudly showed off his hat, which featured a masked man on the front.
Did Aceves pitch for the team?
"I pitched the last game," he said. "I usually just played."
He played the field?
"Yeah, sometimes. It was a good league. Some of the guys threw 90."
Aceves was then asked how he felt about the Red Sox.
"Good question," he said. "I'm excited. I think we can have a good team, even after everything that happened last season. I feel good about that."
Has he spoken much to John Farrell about his role?
"We talked. Everything will be very professional. It was good."
Aceves, as usual, looks to be excellent shape. As to what kind of impact he can have on the Red Sox, he's a talented pitcher when he's focused.