Red Sox closer Andrew Bailey has been sent to the 15-day disabled list after being diagnosed with right biceps inflammation. Bailey underwent an MRI in Boston on Monday and returned with the relatively good news that his injury wasn’t anything more than the inflammation. Bailey has not appeared in a game since the 28th of April, and so a DL stint is likely to be retroactive to the 29th, meaning he would be eligible to return on the 14th of May. In Bailey’s absence, Joel Hanrahan will get the chance to reestablish himself as a lock down closer.
This is Bailey’s first trip to the DL since early last season, when he tore a ligament in his thumb in spring training which subsequently required surgery. He did not make his 2012 debut until the 14th of August, and ended the year with a 7.04 ERA in only 15.1 innings pitched. The 28-year-old had been looking to shed the “oft-injured” label after multiple injury plagued seasons. His short-lived stint as Red Sox closer comes to an end after being lights out since being named to the 9th inning in mid-April.
Taking his place on the active roster is lefthander Craig Breslow. The 32-year-old southpaw had been less than spectacular in the Minor Leagues where he had been rehabbing a sore left shoulder. Breslow pitched himself to a 9.82 ERA in a very small sample of only 3.2 innings. Breslow missed all of spring training with his injury and had only just begun to work his way back to Boston. He most recently pitched one clean inning for Pawtucket on Saturday, striking out one along the way.
Breslow figures to relieve a largely over worked Boston bullpen and eat some of the middle innings that would have gone to the likes of Clayton Mortensen and Andrew Miller instead. Not only will his return allow manager John Farrell to return Andrew Miller to mostly lefty-lefty match ups, it will also reduce the strain on Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uehara. Uehara and Tazawa are both among the league leaders in games pitched at 15 and 16 respectively. For now, Breslow’s activation doesn’t cause any problems, but as soon as a healthy Bailey returns, the Sox are going to face a roster crunch of capable bullpen arms.