By BRENDAN McGAIR
PAWTUCKET â€“ Which Alfredo Aceves will PawSox fans get to see on Thursday night?
Will they see a pitcher who is prone to coming apart at the seams when things go south on the mound, or will the Aceves who in good times with the Red Sox made his mark as a starting and relieving option show up?
Thursday will mark Acevesâ€™ first appearance on the rubber since last Tuesdayâ€™s 13-0 rain-marred debacle at Fenway Park. The troubled pitcher has been in Pawtucket since last Saturday and in the eyes of manager Gary DiSarcina has been a model citizen.
â€śFor him, the time off has probably done him some good â€¦ get his mind straight and his career back on track,â€ť said DiSarcina. â€śHeâ€™s fit in pretty well here.â€ť
Standing at his coaching perch at third base during the closing stages of Tuesdayâ€™s 15-inning contest against Columbus, DiSarcina recalled looking up and seeing Aceves still sitting in the stands and recording pitches. Dressing in a PawSox sweatshirt and black shorts, Aceves was still applying pencil to paper when infielder Drew Sutton was on the hill for frames 14-15.
â€śHe was doing what he was supposed to be doing,â€ť said DiSarcina. â€śThere have been zero issues with him.â€ť
Pawtucket pitching coach Rich Sauveur stressed that from a mechanical standpoint, thereâ€™s nothing wrong with Aceves, who was 1-1 with an 8.66 ERA in five games with Boston.
â€śHeâ€™s done a great job since heâ€™s been here,â€ť said Sauveur. â€śWeâ€™ve just got to make sure that he goes out there and focuses on what his job is to do. Heâ€™ll set a goal of what he wants to do when the game starts and make sure that he accomplishes it.â€ť
Aceves will be on a pitch count that ranges between 80-85. Thursday marks his first appearance with the PawSox since the 2011 season.
â€śI want to contribute where I am right now. Obviously I want to have a good outing; thatâ€™s all I want,â€ť Aceves expressed on Tuesday. â€śItâ€™s very important for us to shut them down, score some runs and win the ball game.â€ť