Red Sox closer Andrew Bailey throws simulated game, rehab next

Jim Rogash

Boston shouldn't be without their stopper for much longer, as he's headed out on a short rehab assignment.

The Red Sox have had some issues at closer -- Joel Hanrahan wasn't good, Andrew Bailey was, Bailey got hurt, Hanrahan continued to be not good, Hanrahan got hurt, Junichi Tazawa hasn't closed much because the Red Sox haven't won much since. Now, though, things should be getting as back to normal as they can with Hanrahan out for the year, as Andrew Bailey threw a simulated game today.

Having his limbs attached is a obviously huge help for his velocity and command, and as far as we know, the celebratory fist bumps didn't cause any damage. Things apparently also went fine, as Nick Cafardo says that Red Sox pitching coach Juan Nieves is "very encouraged" by the 15-pitch sim game. The next step is to send Bailey off for a one-game rehab assignment, which will take place on Saturday according to Brian MacPherson, just to get him in game conditions and double-check that his arm is indeed going to remain attached.

When he does come back -- and from the sounds of it, that will happen on Monday at the latest, before Boston's series with the White Sox begins in Chicago -- he'll bump Tazawa back to setup duties alongside Koji Uehara. Craig Breslow is already back, and Franklin Morales is either on the way to help the bullpen or to send Felix Doubront there in his place, so things are starting to look up for the beleaguered unit.

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