John Lackey is ready to come off the disabled list and will likely pitch for the Red Sox on Sunday against the Houston Astros. Alfredo Aceves, who filled in for three starts, will be out of the rotation.
Might Aceves soon be out of a job, too?
The eccentric righthander could not get through four innings against Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night, giving up eight runs against a slumping team on a cold and rainy night at Fenway Park.
It was 13-0 before the umpires mercifully called the game after seven innings.
Aceves blamed the conditions, the mound, the strike zone of umpire Hunter Wendelstedt and, bizarrely, even his teammates for his performance. After a series of incidents, those comments will not sit well with the organization.
Aceves has an 8.51 earned run average and a 1.79 WHIP in his last 25 outings dating back to Aug. 1. While undeniably talented, Aceves is equally unreliable at this point.
He has been used as a closer, a long reliever and for the last three outings as a starter. There has been no consistency in any of those roles.
“It’s varied. I will say that,” Sox manager John Farrell said. “He’s healthy. He’s got the ability to manipulate the baseball as we’ve seen. You’d like to think that there would be known commodity in a given role, particularly in a starting role when you’ve got five days to prepare for the next outing.”
Oakland starter Bartolo Colon (3-0) didn’t seem to mind the conditions. He threw seven shutout innings.
“Maybe his strike zone was not that small for whatever reason,” Aceves said. “Also they got hacks. Why do we not hit? Same thing. It's just bad today. No matter what score it is, we've got to get back out there and give whatever we have, man.”
This from a player who argued with second baseman Dustin Pedroia on the field last season, confronted former manager Bobby Valentine and in spring training lobbed the ball during a session of live batting practice, drawing a reprimand from Farrell.
Farrell was asked if he had a problem with the effort Aceves gave against Oakland.
“I don’t know if I’d go into the effort level. There seemed to be a lack of focus given the way Alfredo has pitched this year for us,” the manager said. “It wasn’t a good night.”
See the Globe on Wednesday for more on Aceves.