The Red Sox injury saga continues as they may have lost yet another important reliever for the rest of the season. Yesterday, the Red Sox placed Andrew Bailey on the 15-day disabled list with discomfort in his shoulder. Following the footsteps of Joel Hanrahan and Andrew Miller, it has become clear that Bailey may have to face surgery on his right shoulder, which would cause him to miss the rest of the 2013 season. Bailey has had his ups and downs, but has been counted on as one of the Red Sox key relievers this season.
Those ups and downs have culminated to a pretty decent-looking season for Bailey. He has a 3.77 ERA to go with a ridiculous 12.24 K/9 rate and solid 3.77 BB/9 rate, and while those peripherals look good, his 4.76 FIP suggests that his ERA should be considerably higher. Other than a terrible stretch in which he allowed 9 earned runs in 5 innings and lost his closer role, he has been dominant; with those 8 games removed, Bailey has a much-improved 1.52 ERA.
The loss of Bailey will inflict a negative impact on an already stressed bullpen. Despite already acquiring Matt Thornton, the Red Sox have only three reliable arms in their bullpen (Craig Breslow, Junichi Tazawa, and Koji Uehara) and the other three spots are occupied by rookies Pedro Beato, Drake Britton, and Jose De La Torre (called up to replace Bailey).
De La Torre has a 7.71 ERA in 4 games and 7 innings with the Red Sox; however, he has been reliable in Pawtucket. Down in Triple-A, he has a 1.74 ERA and 49:21 K:BB ratio in 41.1 innings pitched. None of these relievers will fill the role that Bailey has this year, so another trade may be in the works before all is said and done. Hopefully Bailey will be back before year’s end, but with his injury history it seems unlikely.