Hey, at least he's not wearing an A's uniform. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
The long awaited debut of Andrew Bailey isn't far behind, as the reliever is finally joining Boston in the majors. Bailey, acquired from the Athletics this past off-season, has spent the entire season on the disabled list recovering from surgery on the UCL in his thumb. After four months and 6-1/3 rehab innings, though, he's back in the Red Sox bullpen where he belongs.
Bailey has said he doesn't care where he's slotted into to the pen for now, as long as he's pitching and the Red Sox are winning. With injuries to Vicente Padilla, Scott Atchison, and Rich Hill, though -- and Franklin Morales now in the rotation -- it might make sense to let Bailey close in order for Alfredo Aceves to get back to a heavier workload of relief wherever his arm is needed. Presumably, closing would mean a lighter workload than setting up or middle relief, allowing Bailey to get back to not only his role, but on the kind of schedule he is used to working.
As Bailey was hitting 94 miles per hour and utilizing all three of his offerings effectively during his rehab assignment, he should be ready to hit the ground running as soon as he's put in a game that counts.
Room on the 40-man roster was already made for Bailey, who was on the 60-day disabled list, earlier on Tuesday when catcher Kelly Shoppach was traded to the New York Mets. This also opens up a spot on the 25-man roster for Bailey, but gives the Red Sox 13 -- yes, 13 -- pitchers on the roster. Boston already had a seven-arm bullpen, and with Bailey's activation and Felix Doubront available to relieve this week, that makes 13 total pitchers. Expect that to change as soon as the Red Sox can get a position player from Pawtucket to Baltimore.
The original version of this article said the Red Sox had 14 pitchers on their roster with Bailey added. MLB.com's Red Sox depth chart listed Aaron Cook as both a starter and a reliever, hence the confusion.