Red Sox

Aceves healthy, open to any role for the Red Sox


Aceves healthy, open to any role for the Red Sox

By MaureenMullen

FORT MYERS, Fla. Alfredo Aceves isnt interested in talking about why the Yankees chose not to bring him back this season. Thats in the past, he says. But credit a strained lower back, which kept him on the disabled list from May 12 on last season, and an offseason bicycle accident for helping to get him to the Red Sox.

The Yankees were concerned he wouldnt be healthy. After making his first Opening Day roster in 2010, he threw 12 innings over 10 appearances with a 3.00 ERA and one save before hitting the DL. Aceves, who turned 29 in December, attempted a rehab assignment with Triple-A ScrantonWilkes-Barre and Double-A Trenton starting Aug. 10, making seven appearances, five starts, before being shut down Aug. 30 for the rest of the season.

Aceves says his back is fine. And his left non-throwing collarbone, broken in the late November bike accident, is good, too.

For that, he credits Juan, un buen Samaritano, in San Luis, Sonora, Mexico, his hometown.

Biking is not easy and Im not a professional biker, he said. I was training a couple of days and then the sixth day, I went off the road. It was so small, so narrow, and it was downhill on the sides. There was earth and pavement. I hit the pavement. With the speed I was pedaling, I went off the road. I had my feet on the pedals because I was clicked in with the special shoes and I couldnt get them off, and my hands were gripping the handlebars. But I just hit the pavement, with the weight and the speed and gravity. I was by myself, four kilometers about 2.4 miles from the town, because it was a road out of town, a little circuit.

Aceves didnt realize immediately the bone was broken.

No, I felt it in my shoulder and my elbow, he said. But it wasnt there. I was just feeling it there. And I lifted my arm up above my head, and then to the sides, and then down, and I thought everything was good. But then I touched it and I could feel the bone sticking up through my clothes. But, it wasnt through my skin.

So I got back to the road, I walked about 60 steps, and start to thumb, and someone stopped after a few cars. Juan, he drove me to the hospital. I put my bike in his truck.

I said, Hey, man, thank you. I have to go to the hospital, to the emergency.

Aceves had surgery in New York in November to repair the break, and the shoulder feels fine now, he said, stronger. His back feels good, too. He doesnt think about it.

While he would prefer to start, he knows what his role would be with the Red Sox.

Long reliever and some starts, he said. I want to start, but I have a possibility to win a World Series this year. We got left fielder Carl Crawford, a very talented guy, humble guy, very good person. First baseman Adrian Gonzalez, nice friend, and he inspires me.

Asked how hed pitch each of the Sox newcomers, Aceves laughed.

Gonzalez, he hit me for a homer in the Mexican Pacific League, with Mazatlan, Los Venados, 'the Deers' in English, the Deers of Mazatlan, he said. And ours was the Tomato Pickers of Culiacan. I pitched against him, I struck him out once, I think. I think he hit the home run first and then I struck him out. And Crawford he got me one time, but not a homer.

Actually, hes gotten the best of Crawford in the major leagues, facing him three times and striking him out each time.

Aceves is impressed with the potential of the Sox pen.

Woo, its a tough bullpen, he said. I like it. We could shut down teams. And we have different types of pitchers. I just want to help the team.

I can throw whatever. I have the preference to start, but I can pitch whatever.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter athttp:twitter.commaureenamullen

Astros beat Yankees in Game 7 to advance to World Series, 4-0


Astros beat Yankees in Game 7 to advance to World Series, 4-0

HOUSTON - Charlie Morton and Lance McCullers combined on a three-hitter, Jose Altuve and Evan Gattis homered and the Houston Astros reached the World Series, blanking the New York Yankees 4-0 Saturday night in Game 7 of the AL Championship Series.

Just four years removed from their third straight 100-loss season in 2013, the Astros shut down the Yankees for two straight games after dropping three in a row in the Bronx.

Next up for the Astros: Game 1 of the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night. Houston aces Dallas Keuchel and ALCS MVP Justin Verlander will have plenty of rest, too, before the matchup begins at Dodger Stadium.

Houston has never won even a single World Series game. The only previous time the Astros made it this far, they were a National League team when they were swept by the Chicago White Sox in 2005.

Now, manager A.J. Hinch's club has a chance to win that elusive first title, while trying to boost a region still recovering from Hurricane Harvey.

Houston improved to 6-0 at Minute Maid Park in these playoffs and became the fifth team in major league history to win a seven-game postseason series by winning all four of its home games.

Morton bounced back from a loss in Game 3 to allow two hits over five scoreless innings. Starter-turned-postseason reliever McCullers limited the Yankees to just one hit while fanning six over the next four.

Combined, they throttled the Yankees one last time in Houston. Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and their New York teammates totaled just three runs in the four road games.

CC Sabathia entered the game 10-0 with a 1.69 ERA in 13 starts this season after a Yankees loss. But he struggled with command and was gone with one out in the fourth inning.

Houston was up 2-0 in fifth when former Yankees star Brian McCann came through for the second straight game by hitting a two-run double after snapping an 0-for-20 skid with an ground-rule RBI double to give Houston its first run on Friday night.

The Yankees, trying to reach the World Series for the first time since 2009, lost an elimination game for the first time this season after winning their first four in these playoffs. New York struggled on the road this postseason, with this loss dropping the team to 1-6.

Red Sox reportedly make offer to Cora

Red Sox reportedly make offer to Cora

UPDATE: The deal is for three years, per Ken Rosenthal.

BOSTON — We’re just waiting on an announcement now.

A pair of national reports on Saturday afternoon, one from FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal... 

...And another from MLB Network and's Jon Heyman...

have firmed up Alex Cora’s expected hiring as Red Sox manager. Both reported that Cora, the Astros bench coach, is expected to take the job once Houston's season ends, which could come as soon as Saturday night after Game 7 of the American League Championship Series. 

Heyman reported a contract offer has already been made to Cora. 

A baseball source said this week that there was “not a doubt” Cora, the Astros bench coach, would wind up with the Red Sox gig. It’s unclear when exactly the offer was made to him, but one had not been made as of midday Wednesday, the source said. 

Cora, 41, a former Red Sox infielder (2005-08) who's also worked in the media and is the most sought-after managerial candidate at the moment, appeared the front-runner since the outset of what proved a small search for the Red Sox.

Earlier, Boston Globe reported that the Washington Nationals were interested in Cora after they fired Dusty Baker on Friday.