Lana Hughes and JP Pritchard

Aceves to Start Season as Sox Closer

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Rob Carr/Getty Images(DETROIT) — Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine announced Wednesday, Alfredo Aceves will begin the season as the teams closer. The 29-year-old right-hander has four saves during his four major league seasons.

“He loves competition,” Valentine said. “He’s one of the best competitors I’ve seen. I could be wrong. I haven’t seen him up close and personal in battle. But he’s a very good competitor, to say nothing of being a very good pitcher.”

Aceves has been thrust into the role because original closer Andrew Bailey will have surgery on his right thumb. Bailey isn’t expected back until after the All-Star break.

If Aceves struggles, the Red Sox have pitchers with some closing experience. Mark Melancon saved 20 games for the Astros last season, left-hander Franklin Morales had seven saves in 2009 for the Rockies and Vincente Padilla was three for three in save opportunities with the Dodgers last season.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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