December 8 – Happy Birthday Alfredo Aceves

If you ask me, Alfredo Aceves was the most valuable member of the Red Sox pitching staff in 2011. In 55 games that included four starts, this right-hander pitched 114 innings and finished the year with a 10-2 record and a sparkling 2.61 ERA. Think what the consequences would have been if Aceves’ previous employer, the Evil Empire in the Bronx simply offered him a contract after the 2010 season. Instead, New York paid big bucks to sign free agent relievers Rafael Soriano and Pedro Feliciano and let the Red Sox steal Aceves away for just $650,000.

The Yankees had found Aceves pitching in the Mexican League in 2007. A native of that country, he had been pitching there for the previous five seasons. The scouts loved the fact that he threw four quality pitches with good enough command to call upon any of them in a full-count situation. The Yankees signed him and first called him up to pitch in the Bronx during the 2008 season. His breakout season came in 2009 when he went 10-1 pitching out of the bullpen and became one of the most valuable members of Joe Girardi’s pitching staff. The only time he was noticeably ineffective in a Yankee uniform was during the 2009 ALCS against the Angels. Unfortunately, the injury bug hit Alfredo in 2010. He had a herniated disc that kept him off the mound most of the year and he then underwent surgery to repair a broken clavicle he suffered in a postseason bicycle accident back home in Mexico. This explains why the Yankees permitted a pitcher who has accumulated a record of 14-1 with two saves and a 3.21 ERA during his 59 appearances for the team, to become a free agent.

After his great first season in Beantown, Aceves is hoping new Boston Manager, Bobby Valentine gives him the opportunity to join the Red Sox starting rotation in 2012. Alfredo was born on December 8, 1982 in San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora, Mexico. He wears uniform 91 because he was a huge fan of former NBA crazy-man, Dennis Rodman.

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