FORT MYERS, Fla. - Carlos Silva’s bid to join the Red Sox rotation was over before he got into a game.
The 32-year-old righthander is out indefinitely with pain in his right shoulder, the same issue that limited him to 23 innings in the minors last season. Silva has not pitched in the majors since 2010 and was in camp as a nonroster player.
“Silva has some shoulder inflammation that’s probably going to set him back enough that he won’t be totally in the mix,’’ manager Bobby Valentine said. “We knew about it and it flared up here. We know exactly what it is. We were hoping it wouldn’t occur as quickly as it did.’’
As to Silva’s long-term prospects, Valentine said only that it was being discussed.
With Silva out, the Red Sox now have roughly six candidates for the two vacancies in their rotation. Daniel Bard is the presumptive No. 4 starter, with Alfredo Aceves, Aaron Cook, Felix Doubront, Andrew Miller, and Vicente Padilla seeking the final spot.
Impressed by Aceves
Aceves threw two perfect innings in Tuesday’s 5-4 victory against the Orioles, striking out two.
“It looked like just a day at the beach for him,’’ Valentine said.
The Red Sox started Aceves four times last season but preferred using him in relief because of his durability. Aceves had a 2.03 earned run average in 93 innings of relief and held opponents to a .193 batting average.
In the past, Aceves has said he wants badly to be a starter. But on Tuesday, he was not in a mood to discuss what role he hoped to fill this season.
“Do I have to respond?’’ he asked a team official.
Valentine was more expansive on the subject, saying it was a tough decision that will hinge on how the rest of the staff comes together.
“We need all kinds of pitchers,’’ he said. “I haven’t had as many pitchers as talented as [Aceves] is who are as versatile as he is. I’ve had versatile guys without exceptional talent. That’s why they become versatile. I was a versatile player.’’
Valentine saw Aceves in person several times last season and learned more about him over the winter.
“He seemed to be able to attack different types of hitters in a variety of ways,’’ said Valentine. “That’s what jumped out at me. Then I saw it was pretty good stuff he was featuring doing that.
“I’d heard about him and watched him. He’s almost a pitching savant kind of guy. He seems to have a great feel for his craft, innate almost. He sees things other guys don’t see, I think.’’
Valentine said the situation could be “a dilemma’’ because what Aceves wants may not be what the team needs.
“He has said all the right things,’’ said the manager. “But I can read heart, too. He’s also said what’s in his heart. It’s in his heart to be the guy who is keeping the mess from being created rather than the guy who has to come in and fix it after it’s messed up.’’
Left fielder Carl Crawford said the inflammation in his surgically repaired left wrist was the result of his pressing to do more, not anything the Red Sox did.
“I don’t think it was the program,’’ said Crawford. “I think it was me pushing myself a little bit more just to see. Stuff like this happens. It’s just a setback and we have to do what we need to do and keep moving forward.’’
Crawford has been shut down for a week. Once cleared, he’ll have to work up to playing in spring training games. There is virtually no chance he will be ready for Opening Day.
“It’s probably best to just wait until it heals correctly and that way I can be strong and not worry about it happening again,’’ he said. “I ain’t disappointed at all. It’s something I can’t control.’’
Crawford normally likes to get a lot of at-bats in spring training. That could lead to the Sox having him play in minor league or extended spring training games before he is activated.
With Crawford out, the Red Sox will have to decide which outfielders will flank Jacoby Ellsbury. Darnell McDonald, Cody Ross, and Ryan Sweeney are the leading candidates, with prospects Che-Hsuan Lin and Juan Carlos Linares on the fringe.
“Since we started our outfield drills, everyone has worked all the positions,’’ Valentine said. “The game situation, we’ll kind of mix and match.’’
Three in a row
Ryan Lavarnway drove in two runs against the Orioles as the Sox improved to 3-0. Alex Wilson allowed four runs in the fifth inning before Clayton Mortensen and Michael Bowden shut Baltimore down . . . The Sox have a game in Dunedin against the Blue Jays Wednesday afternoon. But a group of players will remain behind for a “B’’ game against the Twins in the morning at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers. Jon Lester will start that game . . . The Sox scheduled a third “B’’ game on Sunday against Baltimore . . . Justin Germano will start in Silva’s place against the Blue Jays.