Aceves to Start Season as Sox Closer

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Rob Carr/Getty Images(DETROIT) — Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine announced Wednesday, Alfredo Aceves will begin the season as the teams closer. The 29-year-old right-hander has four saves during his four major league seasons.

“He loves competition,” Valentine said. “He’s one of the best competitors I’ve seen. I could be wrong. I haven’t seen him up close and personal in battle. But he’s a very good competitor, to say nothing of being a very good pitcher.”

Aceves has been thrust into the role because original closer Andrew Bailey will have surgery on his right thumb. Bailey isn’t expected back until after the All-Star break.

If Aceves struggles, the Red Sox have pitchers with some closing experience. Mark Melancon saved 20 games for the Astros last season, left-hander Franklin Morales had seven saves in 2009 for the Rockies and Vincente Padilla was three for three in save opportunities with the Dodgers last season.

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