One-night stand for Atchison; Aceves, Hill here

May, 5, 2011
BOSTON--Having run through his bullpen the night before, Red Sox manager Terry Francona announced Thursday morning that the team had added reinforcement, recalling right-hander Scott Atchison from Pawtucket and selecting left-hander Rich Hill from the PawSox, which required adding Hill to the 40-man roster. The Sox did not have to make a commensurate move to open a spot for Hill on the 40-man.

Atchison gave the Sox what they needed, 3 2/3 innings of mopup work (7 H, 3 ER) after the Angels opened an 8-0 lead on starter John Lackey. It was one and done for the veteran reliever, as the Sox scratched Alfredo Aceves from his scheduled start for Pawtucket Thursday against Scranton and barring anything unexpected will summon him to Boston, where he will pitch out of the bullpen, replacing Atchison.

This will be Aceves' second go-round with the Sox this season. He was supposed to be Pawtucket's Opening Day pitcher but was scratched and called u[p to join the Sox when Matt Albers was placed on the DL. He pitched six times out of the pen for Boston, allowing two earned runs in 8 innings while walking 2 and striking out 5. In his last start for Pawtucket, he gave up three runs (two earned) in five innings and was charged with the decision in a 3-0 loss to Lehigh Valley.

To make room for the new guys, the Red Sox placed relievers Bobby Jenks and Dan Wheeler on the 15-day disabled list. Jenks did not pitch Wednesday after warming up because his arm "cramped up" on him, Francona had said after Wednesday's marathon loss to the Angels. On Thursday, he offered further information, saying the affected area was Jenks's right biceps, adding that the team's medical staff was planning to examine him later in the day.

"I don't think anybody thinks it's anything serious,'' Francona said of Jenks, who had been scored upon in his last three appearances (6 H, 4 ER, 2 1/3 IP) and has a 9.35 ERA overall. "When you go through a game like last night, though, and guys aren't available, we're going to put him on the disabled list.''

Wheeler, meanwhile, pitched Wednesday night and for the second time in three games had a brutal outing against the Angels. He entered at the start of the seventh inning of a scoreless game and gave up a double to Howie Kendrick, the first batter he faced, and then a home run to Vernon Wells, a line drive that hit well up the left-field light tower. After a walk and a flyball to the track, Wheeler was removed for Hideki Okajima.

On Monday night, Wheeler gave up two singles and a home run to Wells, who came into the series batting .170 with one home run.

Wheeler has a 11.32 ERA in 11 appearances. In just 10 1/3 innings he has allowed 18 hits, including 4 home runs, and opposing hitters are batting .375 (18 for 48) against him. After Monday night's game, Francona had attributed Wheeler's problems to a cutter that was staying in the strike zone.
Thursday morning, he said that Wheeler's left calf has been "bugging him for a couple of days.

"Again, I don't think it's something that's going to linger, but we also have to have enough guys in the bullpen to finish the game. So we talked to him also.''

Wheeler has never been on the disabled list in his career.

There may be more moves in the offing. Daisuke Matsuzaka, who pitched an inning Wednesday night and took the loss in his first relief appearance in the big leagues, was scheduled to start Friday. Will he make that start?

"My guess is no,'' Francona said. "I think he's going to want to, because he's a competitor and likes to. Sometimes you have to take that decision out of their hands because it's a long season. He ended up throwing a side and a game in one day, so we'll probably err on the side of caution. I know he was lobbying before he left last night that he could pitch tomorrow, which is great. We appreciate stuff like that.''

Both Hill and Atchison have put up impressive numbers in Pawtucket. Hill is 1-0 with a 1.13 ERA in 10 appearances. In 16 innings, he has allowed 2 earned runs, had struck out 18 while walking 5, and is holding opposing hitters to a .143 average.

Atchison is 1-0 with a 1.04 ERA, allowing 2 earned runs in 17 1/3 innings. He has walked just one batter while striking out 17, holding opposing hitters to a .206 average.

Gordon Edes

ESPN Staff Writer



You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?