By Joe Haggerty
BOSTON In a direct response to the horrific 0-6 start thats completely stunned the Red Sox, they've done a double bullpen swap: They've switched out right-hander Matt Albers and left-hander Dennys Reyes for right-hander Alfredo Aceves and left-hander Felix Doubront.
Albers was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained lat muscle, and the strike-zone challenged Reyes was designated for assignment. Reyes' last appearance for the Red Sox, Wednesday in Cleveland, was horrific: He hit two batters and walked a third without recording an out, and all three runs wound up scoring as the Indians broke open a close (3-2) game.
Aceves was recalled from Pawtucket and Doubront, battled through some left elbow problems in spring training, was activated off the disabled list.
It was obviously a pretty short look for Reyes, said Francona. Its hard to have only one lefty in the bullpen when that pitcher's thats not throwing the ball over the plate. We love Doubront, but he wasnt ready to pitch when we left spring training. Getting Felix back is something were very excited about.
I know it was a short leash with Dennys, but we need to win some games.
Reyes had the lovable looks of El Guapo, but he posted a 16.20 ERA and 2.40 WHIP in four appearances as the Sox situational lefty, and thats about as bad it gets.
As for Albers, Francona indicated the move was precautionary.
He was warming up in Cleveland the other night and felt it," said the manager. "Then he sat down and warmed up again and felt pretty good. Then he felt it grabbing at him the next day, so we stayed away from him. I dont think he'll be sidelined terribly long, but the last thing we wanted to do was run him out there in the next day or two and really hurt him.
Aceves was excited to be facing the Yankees, the team that he pitched for last season, and that means his book on their hitters is still pretty fresh.
Theyre a good team. Everybody has skills and strengths over there, so you just have to dominate, said Aceves.