How about this for an inning of work:
– Walk (one run)
– Single (two runs)
– Sac fly (one run)
– Infield single, E1 (one run)
– E6 (one run)
That was Alfredo Aceves’ third inning in what had been a 0-0 game between Oakland and Boston. What the above doesn’t show is that the infield single was Aceves’ fault. First baseman Mike Napoli made a great diving stop on the ball, but Aceves was late breaking from the mound to cover and Josh Reddick beat him to first base. Aceves then made a half-hearted throw home as the runner from second tried to score and the ball eluded Jarrod Saltalamacchia, giving the A’s their fifth run and putting Reddick on second. Reddick came around to make it 6-0 on a Will Middlebrooks error.
Aceves managed to keep the Red Sox in games in his first two starts in John Lackey’s place, winning one and taking a no-decision in the other. Tonight’s was pretty much a disaster, though, and he’s likely headed back to the pen with Lackey potentially returning Sunday. He’ll need to throw better there or risk being dropped from the roster sometime next month.
Free agent right-hander Chris Tillman is narrowing his pool of potential suitors, per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Returning to the Orioles is one option, of course, but Heyman also mentions another two undisclosed teams who are still in the running. An earlier report from Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun suggests that as many as four teams may be in the mix; either way, a final decision is expected by Monday.
Tillman, 29, has spent the entirety of his major league career in Baltimore. After posting career-high numbers in 2016, his progress was derailed during an injury-plagued 2017 campaign, during which he missed nearly six weeks on the disabled list with recurring right shoulder inflammation. He finished the season with a bloated 7.84 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 4.9 SO/9 over 93 innings.
While the mystery teams have yet to reveal themselves, the Blue Jays, Twins and Tigers have all expressed interest in the veteran right-hander this offseason. Both the Blue Jays and Twins have made big moves to bolster their rotations over the last few days, with the additions of Jaime Garcia and Jake Odorizzi, respectively. That doesn’t mean that Tillman is out of reach, however — if his price is right, he could provide some much-needed depth for pitching staffs that finished 15th and 22nd in the league last year.