Video: Tito says Lester needs fast start

April, 5, 2012

ESPN analyst Terry Francona, in Detroit covering his former team's 2012 debut against the Tigers, talks about how he managed Jon Lester's starts and weighs in on the current bullpen situation.

Francona, after acknowledging the "weird" feeling of covering the Sox after eight years running the team, talked with his former pitcher and current ESPN analyst Curt Schilling about Lester.

"With Jon Lester the biggest thing for me was trying to get him through the first couple of innings keeping that pitch count down," said Francona. "When he started using too many pitches early in the game to get out of innings, and he was at maybe 50 [pitches] after two innings, then you know you're going to have to really work it to get him deep in the game."

Francona also had interesting insight on Boston's bullpen, saying the Sox have "a real important cog in Alfredo Aceves," who will start the season as the team's closer. "He can do anything, and he can do it on about 10 minutes notice. He can close, he can set up, he can start, he's a real valuable part of any rotation. And he'll cover whenever somebody's missing, so they don't have to end up shuffling the entire rotation."



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