Farrell: demotion 'strictly performance based'

Farrell: demotion 'strictly performance based'
April 25, 2013, 5:00 pm
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BOSTON -– Despite the on- and off-field issues that seem to have become a part of Alfredo Aceves’ repertoire, his demotion to Triple-A Pawtucket “was strictly performance based,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell Thursday afternoon.
In Aceves' last outing, he lasted just 3 1/3 innings Tuesday against the A’s, giving up eight runs, seven earned on seven hits and four walks with three strikeouts and a home run, as the Sox were pummeled 13-0 in the rain-shortened, seven-inning game.  Aceves needed 80 pitches to get through the outing.
In the third inning of that game, he faced 10 batters, gave up six runs, committed two balks and one error, failed to cover first base, and threw 42 pitches, the most he had ever thrown in one inning. After the game, he blamed the mound, the strike zone, and called his offense’s efforts into question.
He takes a record of 1-1 and an ERA of 8.66 with him to Pawtucket, where he will pitch in the Paw Sox rotation.
“He’ll start and he’s got to gain some consistency,” Farrell said. “He’s healthy and when he’s been consistent, such as the five innings in Cleveland [on April 17, giving up just three runs, earning the win], he pitched very well. The capability is there and yet we’ve got to get him back on track, not just inning to inning, but outing to outing."
“He is a depth starter for us. Whether that’s six, seven, eight or nine is more predicated on rest and who’s available on a given day. So he goes back to that role.”
Asked if he thought Aceves lost focus on concentration while on the mound, Farrell replied:
“I don’t know that I’m equipped to distinguish that but the results show it. He’ll go out and string together a couple of good innings and other pitchers go through that as well. So just looking at the body of work, it was performance related.”
Farrell said other issues that seemed to follow Aceves had been addressed and dealt with as they occurred.
Simply moving Aceves to the Sox’ bullpen was not an option, Farrell said, because there were other relievers ahead of him who were performing better.
“And I can't say the performance issues that we talked about were solely in the starter’s role,” Farrell said.  “We have other guys that we feel are ahead of him and regardless of the role there’s got to be that consistency that we talk about."
“Even going back before spring training, last year as well, in the starter’s role, typically that pitcher wouldn’t pitch to their highest velocity in that role and location becomes that much more important. There was some combination of walks and hits combined together that led to some crooked numbers on the scoreboard. So all those things considered, you can pinpoint it to consistent location."
Farrell said Aceves, who was given the news after Wednesday’s game, handled the situation well.
“Like a pro,” Farrell said. “Outlined the reasons for the move. He understood, he appreciated the opportunity, and felt he’d go down and work to get back here.”