Aceves, two pitchers in one, “swing man” may solve “Fifth Starter” quandry
By Earl Nash
Alfredo Aceves is a rare commodity in baseball; he is a “swing man,” the pitcher who is just as good a starter as he is a reliever. Bobby Valentine doesn’t recall seeing many with the duel talents of Aceves.
"“I can’t tell you that I’ve reached back into the experience jar and pulled out many — as talented as he is, as versatile as he is,” Valentine said."
Is Alfredo Aceves:
a. a very talented reliever, who can start at times?
b. a very talented starter, who could relieve at times?
c. a AND b.
If the correct answer is “c,” Valentine puts “Saves” Aceves in the pen and, when he needs a spot starter, he rests him a few days and lets “Aces” Aceves go into a starter preparation routine for April 11 against the Blue Jays.
“Aces” Aceves was the starter in a “B” game in his first outing this spring and tossed a scoreless inning; he threw two more shutout innings against Baltimore on Tuesday as, “Saves” Aceves, the reliever.
This is one of those “good” problems for a manager.
"“It’s tough to figure out what’s good for us, because he’s a very good pitcher,” said Valentine. “We need all kinds of pitchers.”"
His talent is matched by his attitude; while last season he said he preferred to start, he now says he will let Valentine decide how he can best serve the team.
Valentine should just be glad that Aceves isn’t also ambidextrous, or as Yogi Berra once said: the guys is “amphibious.”
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