ST. PETERSBURG -- Perhaps it's just a coincidence, but reliever Alfredo Aceves hasn't pitched for the Sox since he went out of his way to not hand the ball to Valentine, then went out if his way to walk around Valentine on the mound.
Valentine said he interpreted Aceves's behavior as "showing up" the manager, but over the last five games before Tuesday night, and of the 12 relievers in the Boston bullpen, Aceves is the only to not have pitched in the last five games.
Valentine, smiling, said Aceves would pitch "if a spot comes up."
Not long ago, Valentine said Aceves was being "stretched out," either for long relief duty or perhaps a return to the rotation.
Asked if that was still the case, Valentine said Aceves was "on call to pitch early and long if necessary."
Ryan Lavarnway, who served as DH Tuesday night, has gotten the start behind the plate in eight of the last 16 games.
Monday night's starter, Aaron Cook, praised Lavarnway for his game-calling skills and said the two worked particularly well together.
"You can't teach experience," said Valentine, "so every little bit (of time behind the plate) helps. That relationship (with veteran pitchers) takes time."
The Sox are expected to welcome additional reinforcements from Triple A Pawtucket, whose season ended last night in Durham, N.C.
Four players in Pawtucket are on the organization's 40-man roster -- infielder Danny Valencia; outfielder Che-Hsuan Line; and pitchers Pedro Beato and Zach Stewart.
All four players spent time with the parent club earlier this season.
Lin would seem an absolute lock to join the Sox, as Valentine has repeatedly bemoaned the fact that, with Ryan Kalish availability uncertain on a day-to-day basis, he otherwise has just four healthy outfielders: Jacoby Ellsbury, Cody Ross, Daniel Nava and Scott Podsednik.