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.
The Mets signed catcher Jose Lobaton to a minor league contract, the team announced Friday. The deal includes an invitation to spring training, where it’s assumed Lobaton will be in the mix for a backup role behind Travis d'Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki.
Lobaton, 33, is coming off of a four-year stint with the Nationals. He put up his worst career numbers in 2017, producing -0.6 fWAR after slashing just .170/.248/.277 with four home runs in 158 plate appearances. While he’ll give the Mets little to work with at the plate, his near-decade of experience behind the dish should make him a decent emergency option, if nothing else.
In the meantime, the Mets are expected to roll with a d’Arnaud/Plawecki platoon to start the season. Both catchers saw slight upticks in value over the 2017 season: d’Arnaud turned in 0.8 fWAR after hitting a career-high 16 home runs, while Plawecki collected 0.6 fWAR and three homers after raising his batting line over the Mendoza Line for the first time since 2015.