Bailey activated, slides back into closer's role

Bailey activated, slides back into closer's role
May 20, 2013, 8:45 pm
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(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

CHICAGO – Andrew Bailey was activated from the disabled list Monday afternoon, after missing three weeks and 19 games with a right biceps strain.  In that stretch the Red Sox have gone 9-10.
 
“He makes our bullpen better,” manager John Farrell said. “Everyone will slot back into a similar role that they’ve had when Andrew was still with us before the injury. So he’ll go into the closer’s role. We will have to monitor just the workload and if back to back is a good thing for him right now. That’ll all be a day-to-day situation.”
 
“Obviously, this is where I want to be,” said Bailey, who has posted a record of 1-0, with a 1.46 ERA five saves and one blown save in 13 games, spanning 12 /13 innings this season.

“I’m healthy and I’m with the team, so just looking forward to getting back out there.
 
“I feel 100 percent and ready to go. If there was any issues I wouldn't be here and that’s behind me, got the one [rehab] outing in and ready to go.”
 
Bailey made just one rehab appearance, pitching an inning for Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday. He went one inning, giving up one run on two hits, one home run, and two strikeouts.
 
"Good. Homer, double, ready to go. It’s not successful unless you can give up a couple of hits," he joked. "No, I felt great, the ball was coming out really well, the velocity was there, slider, curveball was there, so everything was good.”
 
Bailey is available tonight and will step into the closer’s role, allowing the rest of the relievers to slide back into their customary spots.  But, the Sox will monitor Bailey’s workload, avoiding consecutive days of work for Bailey, at least early on, allowing the right-hander to build up arm strength after being out for three weeks.
 
“While he’s cleared and ready to go, I think it's best that we get a couple of appearances in under his belt before we do that,” Farrell said. “Now, if he has an outing where it’s a nine-pitch outing, certainly we’ll look to take that into account and see if he’s available the next day. But because of what's transpired over the last couple of weeks we’re confident [in the other guys].”
 
The bullpen has performed well in Bailey’s absence, especially recently. On the road trip, relievers have given up just one run, when Clayton Mortensen allowed a run on May 16. That kind of work has made Bailey’s absence easier on himself.
 
“Obviously this year’s been a little bit difficult on bullpen injuries, losing Joel [Hanrahan] and myself,” Bailey said. “And they’ve really picked up the slack and they’ve done well, now that I’m healthy again, hopefully we can get to that point where we were rolling early on in the season.”
 
“Guys have stepped up,” Farrell said. “Andrew Miller particularly has really made a big stride forward. Alex Wilson kind of goes under the radar a little bit, not one of the more recognizable names, but certainly has pitched extremely well for us. And I think in general as opportunity provides itself or presents itself, guys have stepped up and answered it when needed most.”
 
Right-hander Jose De La Torre was optioned back to Pawtucket to make room on the roster for Bailey.