Making official what was expected, the Red Sox announced that Alfredo Aceves will step into the rotation for the injured John Lackey, with his first start scheduled for tomorrow night against the Orioles.
Felix Doubront will slide back one day, starting Friday against the Rays in what was Lackey’s actual spot in the rotation. And for now at least the Red Sox haven’t placed Lackey on the disabled list, leaving open the possibility that he could return after missing just one or two starts.
Aceves threw 3.1 innings in relief after Lackey exited clutching his arm Saturday, so he’s stretched out enough to throw five-plus innings, but he hasn’t started a game since 2011 and has just nine career starts at age 30.
Last Thursday, we learned that the MLBPA was challenging the Nippon Professional Baseball posting system, delaying Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball. The latest collective bargaining agreement removed a lot of the incentive for players to come to the U.S. by capping pay. Ohtani, for example, can only receive a signing bonus between $300,000 and $3.53 million while his team — the Nippon Ham Fighters — would receive $20 million for posting him.
Jon Morosi reports that the deadline for this issue to be resolved is 8 PM ET on Monday evening. He notes that key NPB officials have worked through the night in Japan to try to reach a resolution. It is possible that even if no agreement is reached, the deadline could be pushed further back.
Ohtani, 23, has become a heralded hitter and pitcher in Japan. At the plate over his five-year career, he has compiled a .286/.358/.500 triple-slash line with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 1,170 plate appearances. On the mound, he has a 2.52 ERA with a 624/200 K/BB ratio across 543 innings.