Closer Andrew Bailey has a mysterious thumb injury that the Red Sox are very eager to learn exactly how serious it is.
Bailey will fly to Boston today to have it examined, but it appears likely that he will not be available for the start of the season.
The club is not ready to announce Bailey’s replacement, because there is no reason to before doctors take a look. In the meantime, Alfredo Aceves and Mark Melancon are the lead candidates for an opening that appeared very suddenly.
“I have faith (in the club’s options),” manager Bobby Valentine said yesterday. “This has all been happening quickly. We’ve been having a lot of meetings today and I haven’t formulated everything in my mind. And I don’t know that I have to, but it seems that it’s OK.
Herald: Surprise Injury sidelines Bailey
Bailey has lived up to everything we heard about him when the Sox acquired him: has really good stuff and can be a damn good closer... if he can stay healthy. He has soreness in his right thumb and no one can point to what triggered it. Wonderful.
Mark Melancon and Alfredo Aceves are the leading candidates to hold Bailey's spot. Melancon did well closing in Houston... but that was the worst team in the NL Central. He also struggled in the AL East when he was a member of the Yankees. Aceves has been the stopgap in the middle innings but closing is a different kind of beast. Both could keep the seat warm but if Bailey is hurt for a long period of time...
Time for Daniel Bard to close. He's the only one on the staff that has the electric stuff to dominate and close out the game. The experiment as a starter would have to be put on the shelf and....
Getting ahead of myself. Let's just hope the thumb is OK.
Globe: Thumb derails Bailey | Issues, right off the bat | Doubront, Bard added to rotation | Herald: Sox armed but not dangerous | Every pinch counts | CSNNE: A 13th pitcher? | Bailey injures thumb, returns to Boston | Doubront, Bard named to starting rotation | Not a bad 2-for-1 | WEEI: Bail-out strategy | Sox option Lavarnway to AAA