Via WEEI -
The buzz circulated throughout Red Sox camp, and no one could make sense of it. Everyone played the role of speculative arm chair psychologist while wondering: Did you see it? Did you hear about it? What on earth was Alfredo Aceves doing?
Sunday marked the second day of live batting practice, in which pitcher’s face their teammates from behind the protective “L” screen. The exercise is meant to give pitchers an opportunity to build arm strength while introducing a hint of the competitive adrenaline that will characterize games. It also helps hitters to get used to seeing pitches at game speed.
But when it was Aceves’ turn to throw to Jarrod Saltalmacchia, Jonny Gomes and Mauro Gomez, he did not throw at full speed. He did not even throw at batting practice speed. For about 15 pitches, he simply lobbed the ball to the plate, at approximately the speed at which a pitcher might toss a ball into an umpire if he wanted to replace it.
Members of the Sox staff were flummoxed. Triple-A pitching coach Rich Sauveur tried to get Aceves to pick up the pace. Manager John Farrell asked the pitcher if he was OK; Aceves responded that he was, but kept lobbing the ball to the plate. Finally, pitching coach Juan Nieves visited the pitcher on the mound, at which point Aceves finally started throwing with something resembling the intended intensity of the exercise.
At the conclusion of the session, Farrell summoned Aceves to discuss the pitcher’s approach to his first live batting practice session of the spring.
“The one thing I’ll say about that is that he didn’t go through the drill as intended and we’ve addressed it,” said Farrell. “He’s healthy and it’s been addressed.”
Aceves likewise had little to say about what either Nieves or Farrell told him.
“It’s in the team. Stays in the team,” he said.
And what did he get out of his session?
“We get through a lot of work coming through the spring training. I’m pretty satisfied with today,” said Aceves, who characterized the session live batting practice as “whatever is usual for me. And also usual for every single of us. Try to train another day of the spring training.”
The behavior was, of course, bizarre in its own right, but in Aceves’ case, the matter appears more disconcerting because it echoes other disciplinary concerns that the Sox had with the right-hander towards the end of last year.
It’s official. My soon to be 9-year old knows more about baseball than me. Yesterday, he told me that some major league pitcher was clocked at something like 57-miles per hour. And, I told him that was not very likely – since the slowest of the slow usually throw between 65 and 75 MPH. Yet, he protested me and said that he was sure that he heard this…
…and, now, I just came across this report. So, I asked him “Was that pitcher who were telling me about on the Red Sox?” After he said yes, I asked him where he heard about it. And, he told me that he couldn’t remember but he thought it was on TV.
Mark the date: February 18, 2013 – The day my soon to be 9-year old son has forgotten more about baseball than I will ever know…at least, in the case of Alfredo Aceves’ hissy fit BP session.