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Red Sox keep Dennys Reyes and Matt Albers, option Hideki Okajima and Alfredo Aceves to Triple-A

Mar 28, 2011, 10:17 AM EDT

Hideki Okajima

A pair of head-to-head roster battles were decided in Red Sox camp this morning, with Dennys Reyes beating out fellow left-hander Hideki Okajima and Matt Albers beating out fellow right-hander Alfredo Aceves.

Reyes and Albers have made the team as relievers, while Okajima and Aceves will head to Triple-A Pawtucket.

Okajima and Aceves both have a minor-league option remaining, while Reyes and Albers do not, which likely played a big part in the decisions. This way the Red Sox can keep all four pitchers, instead of having to risk losing Reyes or Albers had they kept Okajima or Aceves.

After a disappointing 2010 season Okajima took a pay cut to re-sign with the Red Sox for $1.75 million, which he’ll be earning in the minors. Aceves signed a “split” contract when he joined the Red Sox as a free agent last month, so he’ll make $200,000 at Pawtucket. Aceves looked good in camp and the Red Sox didn’t pay $1.75 million for Okajima to face International League hitters all year, so they’ll both likely get a shot in Boston soon enough.

  1. BC - Mar 28, 2011 at 10:24 AM

    Okajima is toast at this point. He’s like 37 or something and has gotten progressively worse. I wondered what happened to Aceves. He was pitching great before he got hurt a while back. Definitely worth giving him a chance.

  2. proudlycanadian - Mar 28, 2011 at 11:13 AM

    My condolences to the Red Sox. There is another hole in their pitching staff.

    • Ari Collins - Mar 28, 2011 at 12:17 PM

      I appreciate your condolences. I’m pretty sure our mop-up relievers aren’t any worse than anyone else’s, though.

      • proudlycanadian - Mar 28, 2011 at 12:37 PM

        Hi Ari. The biggest question in the bullpen is Papelbon. Baird is OK when he is not hitting batters in the head. Is there also a White Sox castoff in your bullpen?

      • Ari Collins - Mar 28, 2011 at 1:19 PM

        I’m not sure how we got from the “hole” that is Albers and Reyes to the front of the bullpen, but Papelbon is the third or fourth best reliever on the team, and there aren’t many teams with a stronger front four in the ‘pen than Paps, “Baird”, Jenks, and Wheeler.

        If the question of whether our third best reliever (who will probably face the least important situations of the top three) will be dominant like he used to be or merely good is our biggest bullpen concern, we’ll be okay.

      • Ari Collins - Mar 28, 2011 at 1:20 PM

        Also: Hi, Proud! Didn’t mean to rudely ignore your greeting like that.

      • proudlycanadian - Mar 28, 2011 at 2:19 PM

        No problem Ari. I realised too late that I had spelt Bard’s name wrong. There is an election going on in Canada and one of our prominent politicians is named Baird.

  3. beantownsports247 - Mar 28, 2011 at 1:44 PM

    ProudlyAmericasHat : Hi , will you please explain to me how much better your Bullpen is then the Red Sox pen ? For your sake I am praying your not a blue jays fan, if you are then you have no further explaining to do , i already pity you . Best of luck though.

    • proudlycanadian - Mar 28, 2011 at 2:22 PM

      The Jays will have to start the season with a couple of experienced bullpen pitchers on the DL, yet they will still have to demote someone who is beeter than Reyes.

      • Ari Collins - Mar 28, 2011 at 3:06 PM

        That’s because Reyes is the token lefty. Like, say… David Purcey. Comparing a LOOGY to a right-handed reliever is apples and oranges.

        Having a bunch of injured relievers is not a plus, my friend.

      • proudlycanadian - Mar 28, 2011 at 3:39 PM

        Purcey might not make the team. Since he was sent to the pen, Scrabble has pitched very well especially against left handed batters.

  4. Ari Collins - Mar 28, 2011 at 1:51 PM

    Really, this is a nothing-to-see-here new story. They had options on Aceves and Okajima, so they sent them down. They’ll be the first up when an injury strikes.

    Albers is interesting, though. There were some scouts and statisticians both who see him having really turned things around in the last couple months of 2010. Bit speculative, but there might be some upside there.

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