Ortiz calls for Aceves in the starting role

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Ortiz calls for Aceves in the starting role

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com Follow @maureenamullen

BOSTON -- David Ortiz surely meant no disrespect to Kyle Weiland, but he thought there might have been a better choice for a starting pitcher in the first game of Monday's doubleheader.

Alfredo Aceves, who has been so valuable because of his versatility this season, pitched three scoreless innings in Monday afternoon's 6-5 loss to the Orioles. He held the Os in check while the Sox fought back to within one run. If it was up to Ortiz, Aceves, who has made four starts this season, would have taken the mound in the first inning, not the seventh.

The way things are going he should be starting, said Ortiz. Simple as that. Give it a shot.

In his four starts, spanning 21 innings, Aceves has a record of 1-1 with a 5.14 ERA. He has given up 14 runs (12 earned) on 20 hits and 13 walks, with 13 strikeouts. He has not given up a home run, holding opponents to a .250 average.

But he has not started since June 21, against the Padres. His bullpen role became too valuable.

Hes got good stuff, man, Ortiz said. You see how easy he gets hitters out. I think at one point, he might be a starter. I dont know. It all depends on what our front office decides. Hes got good stuff, man. And we definitely need a guy who can come in and give us six or seven good innings. It seems like hes capable of doing it. Well see.

Although manager Terry Francona has shown little inclination to put Aceves in the rotation, there is potentially still time to see what Aceves could do in that role. Certainly, he can't do much worse than most of the other starting pitching performances the Sox have had in September.

In 18 games this month, entering Mondays night game, starting pitchers have gone just 86 innings, averaging less than five innings a game.They have given up 68 runs (61 earned) on 100 hits and 43 walks with 75 strikeouts and 13 home runs. The starters have posted a combined 6.38 ERA while pitching just three quality starts.

Aceves, meanwhile, lowered his ERA to 2.74 with his performance Monday afternoon.

"We still have like, what, right games left?" Ortiz said. "Its not going to be tomorrow. He threw 53 pitches, 32 for strikes today. But, hes got Jon Lester stuff. And weve been seeing that for a while, right?"

While Aceves has proven his value to the pitching staff, especially taking long innings in relief, what the Sox desperately need now is a starting pitcher who can give the team a quality outing -- and preferably a win.

Perhaps Aceves is that pitcher.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Former major leaguer Andy Marte, a one-time top prospect in the Red Sox organization, was killed in a car crash in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. He was 33.

Marte was killed the same day that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Ventura was 25. Coincidentally, Ventura was the Royals starting pitcher in Marte's final major league game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014.

Marte, drafted by the Braves in 2000, was ranked the No. 9 prospect in baseball in 2005 when the third baseman was traded to the Red Sox as part of the deal that sent shortstop Edgar Renteria to Atlanta and Marte became the top-ranked prospect in the Red Sox organization.  

Marte was traded by the Red Sox to the Indians in 2006 in the deal that sent Coco Crisp to Boston and spent five seasons with Cleveland. His best season was 2009 (.232, six home runs, 25 RBI in 47 games). After a six-game stint with Arizona in 2014, he played in South Korea the past two years.  

Metropolitan traffic authorities in the Dominican told the Associated Press that Marte died when a car he was driving his a house along the highway between San Francisco de Macoris and Pimentel, about 95 miles (150 kilometers) north of the capital.
 

Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car crash in in the Dominican Republic on Sunday morning, according to multiple reports. Ventura was 25 years old.

Highway patrol spokesman Jacobo Mateo told the Associated Press that Ventura died on a highway leading to the town of Juan Adrian, about 40 miles (70 kilometers) northwest of Santo Domingo. He says it's not clear if Ventura was driving.

Ventura was killed the same day former major leaguer Andy Marte died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Coincidentally, Ventura was the starting pitcher in Marte's final MLB game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014. 

Ventura was 13-8 with a 4.08 ERA for the Royals' 2015 World Series champions and 11-12 with a 4.45 ERA in 32 starts in 2016. The right-hander made his major league debut in 2013 and in 2014 went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA for Kansas City's A.L. pennant winners. 

Ironically, Ventura paid tribute to his good friend and fellow Dominican, Oscar Tavares, who was also killed in a car crash in the D.R. in October 2014, by wearing Tavares' initials and R.I.P. on his cap before Ventura's start in Game 6 of the World Series in 2014. 

Ventura is the second current major league player to die in the past five months. Former Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident in Miami on Sept. 25.