It’s been such a long time since Red Sox fans have been excited about Andrew Bailey. He was acquired along with Ryan Sweeney this winter in return for Josh Reddick, Miles Head, and Raul Alcantara. That trade looked pretty good at the time, but right now– with Bailey having been injured all year and Reddick raking to the tune of .253/.325/.500 with 25 home runs and 60 RBIs, not so much. However, Bailey will be activated from the 60-day DL before today’s game in Baltimore and should be at Camden Yards sitting in the bullpen tonight.
A few weeks ago, Bailey started his minor league rehab assignment and over the course of that time he did a pretty good job. In 6 games and 6.1 minor league innings between the Gulf Coast League, Double-A, and Triple-A, Bailey allowed 1 run (a 1.42 ERA), 6 hits, 1 walk, and struck out 10. Despite those impressive numbers, though, he has yet to establish himself in the Red Sox bullpen and the two-time All-Star closer will certainly not just jump into the closer role.
Since Bailey’s injury in a Spring Training game on March 22nd, Alfredo Aceves has been serving in the closer role for the Red Sox. Aceves has been decent so far, however, after years of Jonathan Papelbon locking things down in the ninth, he’s left a bit to be desired. So far, he’s gone 2-7 with a 4.14 ERA and has saved 23 games in 29 opportunities– good for 79%. I’m not sure if Aceves should be a closer in the long run, but he should occupy that role at least until Bailey establishes himself as the pitcher he was in Oakland.