Notes: Long rest for Aceves; Lavarnway gains experience

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Notes: Long rest for Aceves; Lavarnway gains experience

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.

Biggest Red Sox busts in recent memory

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Biggest Red Sox busts in recent memory

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Farrell angered after Castillo fails to run out grounder

Farrell angered after Castillo fails to run out grounder

The Red Sox signed Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo to a seven-year, $72.5 million contract bn August 2014. Over parts of three seasons, the 29-year-old has a .679 OPS across 337 plate appearances in the majors and spent the vast majority of the 2016 season at Triple-A Pawtucket.

Castillo had a chance to start things off on the right foot in 2017, but that ship has already sailed. On Thursday against Northeastern at JetBlue Park, Castillo didn’t run out a routine ground ball. He claims he lost track of the outs. Manager John Farrell isn’t happy about the situation. Via Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald:

“Disappointing for a couple of reasons,” Sox manager John Farrell said. “One, he has lost the number of outs. Still, regardless of another of outs, getting down the line is controllable. And for a player in his situation, every little aspect of the game is important. That’s something that was addressed in the moment. He needs to execute the game situation. And for that matter, every player. But that one obviously stood out.”

Everyone always makes far too big a deal about running out grounders. It’s a real nit to pick when it’s February 23 and your team just finished playing an exhibition game that is even more meaningless than the other exhibition games that will be played in the coming month.

That being said, Castillo has to prove himself to merit inclusion on the 25-man roster and that means dotting all his i’s and crossing all his t’s. Even if he went hitless all spring, Castillo could have at least said he couldn’t have done anything else better. But on day one, he already gave his team a reason to count him out.