Alfredo Aceves

Manager Big Papi wants Alfredo Aceves in the rotation

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Not that he’s the only one.

David Ortiz, though, said after the first game of Monday’s doubleheader that Alfredo Aceves should be in the Red Sox rotation.

“To be honest with you, the way things are going, he should be starting. It’s as simple as that,” Ortiz was quoted as saying by the Boston Globe. “I think at one point, he might be a starter. It all depends what the front office decides, but he’s got good stuff, and we definitely need a guy that can come in and give us six or seven good innings. He seems like he’s capable to do it, so we’ll see.”

There was some push to give the Aceves a start in the doubleheader today, but the team decided to keep the versatile right-hander in the pen and pitch Kyle Weiland in Game 1 instead.  Weiland gave up six runs — five earned — in 4 2/3 innings and took the loss in what ended up being a 6-5 game.  Aceves came in to start the seventh and pitched three scoreless innings to give Boston a chance to come back.  He has a 2.74 ERA in 105 innings for the season.

If Erik Bedard shows he’s healthy when he returns on Tuesday, it would probably eliminate any chance of Aceves joining the rotation for the final week of the season.  However, if Bedard struggles, the team just have to take the plunge.  Obviously the Red Sox are far from locks to advance at this point, but without a healthy Bedard, Aceves would probably be the team’s best option to start the third game of the ALDS.

Report: Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on Sonny Gray

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 06: Sonny Gray #54 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at the Oakland Coliseum on August 6, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.

Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.

Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.

President Obama Welcomes the Cubs to the White House

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As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.

Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.

Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.