A few days ago, during the 15th inning of a game against Columbus, Pawtucket manager Gary DiSarcina gazed to the stands at McCoy Stadium and saw Alfredo Aceves charting pitches, just like any other Triple A starter on the eve of his next outing.

It was all DiSarcina needed to know about Aceves' attitude.

"I was coaching third and I'm looking up and I saw a guy with a hoodie on, and I'm going, 'That's Alfredo Aceves. What the hell is he doing up there?'" DiSarcina said. "But he was doing what he was supposed to be doing. He's been good. I don't know how many days he's been here, five or six, and there's been zero issues with him. He's been a model citizen. He's fit in pretty well here."

When Aceves got demoted last week, it was widely presumed he had pitched his final game for the Red Sox. And that may yet be true. Given his 8.51 ERA over 25 appearances dating to last August, including an 8.66 mark this season, and his eccentric and often insubordinate behavior, the Sox may decide that dumping Aceves qualifies as addition by subtraction, even if it means trading him for pennies on the dollar.

For now, though, they seem intent on helping Aceves regain the consistency that once made him the most trusted member of the bullpen down the stretch in 2011. Last week, general manager Ben Cherington dispatched special assistant Pedro Martinez to oversee Aceves' between-starts bullpen session and have a chat with the enigmatic right-hander. And if Aceves pitches well for the PawSox, as he did over six scoreless innings and 101 pitches Thursday night against Durham, it benefits everyone. Either he regains his status as a valuable asset on the pitching staff, or he enhances what to this point has been only minimal trade value.