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Larry Lucchino on D&C discusses whether Cody Ross, John Lackey or Alfredo Aceves might return

09.20.12 at 1:04 pm ET
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Red Sox CEO/president Larry Lucchino, in an interview with the Dennis & Callahan show on Thursday morning, addressed how a number of Red Sox players might fit into the club in 2013. Perhaps most noteworthy was Lucchino’s acknowledgement that there remains an open question whether Alfredo Aceves — who was suspended once for conduct detrimental to the team, and for whom a second suspension was considered but deemed unnecessary after took a backdoor exit from the mound during a pitching change to avoid passing manager Bobby Valentine — will be brought back to the Red Sox.

“[A decision regarding his role as a starter or reliever] will be made next spring by whatever team he is with. Maybe he’s with us. We’ll see. Maybe he’s elsewhere. It’s a little early to answer that question,” said Lucchino. “We have so far [put up with his activities]. … He is a valuable pitcher. His track record over the course of his major league career has been very impressive.”

Additional highlights from the interview:

On John Lackey’s potential to contribute to the rotation in 2013: “All the information that I’ve been getting has been quite positive about his health and his current state of readiness. … We do have a guy who is a double-digit winner in the big leagues and who has been a horse.

“I’ve seen a number of players come back with much stronger arms and played very effectively [from Tommy John surgery],” he added. “We have seen evidence that this has been a very effective procedure.”

On the team’s interest in bringing back Cody Ross: “We love Cody Ross. He is someone that was, I think, one of [GM] Ben Cherington‘s best offseason acquisitions. When we saw him in spring training, several of us predicted that he would be a very popular player because of his style, personality and power. He has proven to be just that. We’d love to have Cody Ross come back and play for this team in future years. We’re at the beginning stages of that process.”

On trying to restore Daniel Bard to his pre-2012 career track: “I don’t know what the pitching plan will be. I think there’s a plan that is a psychological plan, to just let him regain his confidence, get away from the chorus of people that have been talking to him throughout this year. … One thing that will have to happen is his confidence, his psychological approach to the game will have to improve. I think that will come from some time away from the game, some sports psychologist or special assistant.”

On catcher Ryan Lavarnway: “I think watching Lavarnway has been interesting. We have seen positive things from him — his defense and his throwing in particular. The guy has hit everywhere he has been, at every level. I fully expect he will hit again.”

On Jose Iglesias: “We’ve learned about his offensive need to grow a little bit, get a little more seasoning with the bat, to be sure. He’s only 22 years old. I wouldn’t write him off quite yet … He’s got a lot of time to learn. One of the things he’s demonstrated is there’s a lot of offensive ground he has to cover in the next year. It’s not as if we’re talking about a guy who is going to be a cinch who will be in the big leagues next year.”

On whether prospects Jackie Bradley Jr. and/or Xander Bogaerts might be ready for the big leagues in 2013: “I think that’s possible. Maybe not at the start of the season, but at some point during the year.”

On whether the success of Mike Matheny with the Cardinals and Robin Ventura with the White Sox had changed his view of the importance of prior managerial experience as a prerequisite for success: “It’s a bit of a loaded question, but … if you’re talking about players the stature of those players, in special circumstances, yeah, I still think there’s a presumption in favor of experience but there’s always the rebuttable exception to the presumption. I think we’ve seen it this year. So, yeah, I think it’s changed the whole industry’s perspective a bit.”

On whether Bobby Valentine would be back next year: “Come on. Is there still a presumption that you guys are going to have a show next year? … We’re going to address those kinds of issues at the end of the season, as you guys well know. Nice try.”

Read More: alfredo aceves, Bobby Valentine, Cody Ross, Daniel Bard
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