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Jerry Remy on D&C: ‘There’s a calmness in the clubhouse that we didn’t see all of last year’

04.24.13 at 9:36 am ET
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Jerry Remy

NESN’s Jerry Remy joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday to talk about Alfredo Aceves in the wake of his disastrous outing Tuesday and the state of the Red Sox bullpen.

Aceves allowed eight runs (seven earned) on seven hits in 3 1/3 innings on Tuesday, and Remy said that while Aceves hasn’t exactly made the case to stay in the starting rotation, his behavior off the field has been better.

“I think he’s been on a short leash since spring training, in that episode where he went to throw batting practice and he was lobbing the ball in. I think he got a good talking to and I have to say, since then he’s been a good citizen,” Remy said. “He’s been at the ballpark early, he’s been working hard, doing the things that he’s supposed to be doing, acting like a starting pitcher. He’s a tough cat to figure out, he really is, but he’s got talent, and that’s the reason the Red Sox held on to him. He’s the kind of guy that you just don’t want to let go, you want to get something for him if you could, but I don’t know if that’s going to happen.”

Aceves’ impending return to the bullpen wouldn’t do anything to remedy the fact that the Sox have just one left-handed pitcher, Andrew Miller, working in relief.

“In the ideal situation, they’re supposed to have three,” Remy said. “They thought [Craig] Breslow would be there, and [Franklin] Morales. It does handicap them because especially in the earlier innings, the sixth and seventh, when you’d like to match up a little, you can’t really do it because you want to save him for those key situations when those lefties come up later on in the ballgame. So it would help to get one of those guys back and have at least two guys out there that you can go to. It seems like Breslow’s the closest because he’s on a rehab assignment, whereas Morales was canceled from one because he wasn’t quite ready yet.

“The thing is, 98 percent of the time, the right-handers will get it done. Guys like [Junichi] Tazawa and [Koji] Uehara are just as tough on lefties as they are on righties, because of that split-finger fastball, so they’ve kind of made up the difference.”

Following are more highlights from the conversation. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page. For more Red Sox coverage, go to weei.com/redsox.

On whether Jose Iglesias-Stephen Drew or Joel Hanrahan-Andrew Bailey is more of a controversy: “I don’t think the Iglesias-Drew thing is a big deal, to be honest. I think Drew’s going to be fine. I didn’t know him very well until we’d been watching him play in spring training, and the thing that impressed me about him was, he’s not as flashy as Iglesias is, but the fact is that he makes all the plays he’s supposed to make, he’s got decent range, and I think he’s going to hit better. I know he’s going to hit better. He started to show signs of that a few days ago when he had a long flyout that looked like it was going to be a home run, and then he had a line drive base hit. I don’t have any problem with Drew at shortstop right now, and my understanding is Iglesias isn’t hitting anything down at Triple-A right now.”

On what Hanrahan’s role will be when he comes back from injury: “I think you let Bailey continue in the role and build Hanrahan back up. I don’t have any doubt that before the year’s out he’s going to be the closer, and close as well as he did in the National League, but I think he’s going to have to probably wait on that role. I think they’ll try to get him into a couple of games to see exactly where he is physically, in what would probably be a setup role, and then go from there. Crazy things happen, guys get hurt, we all know how quickly things can change, but if everyone stays healthy I would be surprised if Bailey was removed from the closing role and Hanrahan would have to go out there for two, three, four appearances to show that he’s healthy and show he can get outs.”

On his outlook on the team in general: “There’s a calmness in the clubhouse that we didn’t see all of last year. There’s a confidence in the clubhouse. It certainly helped that they got off to a good start. … I think they’re going to do fine. We’ve seen all the American League East teams, and with the exception of the Yankees, who were not healthy when we saw them, we see what everybody else has got, and I don’t see any reason this team can’t be competitive with the remains of the division all season long.”

On Daniel Bard: “It was clearly better in spring training than what we saw a year ago, but it was not quite there yet. … If he’s coming up in a good frame of mind, then getting here with [JuanNieves and [JohnFarrell can only help that. I didn’t really expect it to happen this soon, but apparently the reports have been very good over the last four or five outings from him, so back up he comes.”

On what has been the most pleasant surprise about the Sox so far: “[ShaneVictorino would be in that category. [DanielNava, [Mike] Napoli, there’s a bunch of guys. The big question about Victorino was, could he play right field, and not only has he played right field, he’s played it great. Nava has had clutch hits after clutch hits. So there have been a few guys that have been a pleasant surprise.”

Read More: alfredo aceves, Andrew Bailey, joel hanrahan, Stephen Drew
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