Welp. That didn’t take long. Andrew Bailey wears the “oft-injured” tag after extended DL stints in each of the last two seasons. The Red Sox acquired the closer from Oakland after Jonathan Papelbon left for Philadelphia via free agency. They knew the risks and now it looks like their worst fears are realized.
After experiencing pain in his thumb while squeezing a bottle of shampoo because…of course. The pain persisted and the team sent him to see a hand specialist. All points (and sources) suggest Bailey now needs surgery and will miss up to three months.
Losing their closer doesn’t mean the Red Sox are dead in the water; far from it. Mark Melancon will step in and pick up the saves in the interim. The Sox can (and, I believe, will) resist the urge to shove Daniel Bard back into the bullpen to address this shortcoming.
Finding a closer is important but, in the grand scheme of things, much easier than finding a competent starting pitcher. The Red Sox do not yet know if Bard is, indeed, a quality starter. It behooves the BoSox to wait as long as they can before deciding if Bard can do the job in the rotation.
Bailey will be back and Bailey will likely be good again. He will close out games down the stretch as the Red Sox offense answers any and all questions about their starting rotation. He’s a closer. Relievers are not quite fungible but they are in greater supply than mid-rotation starters, this much I know.
Which is to say nothing of interesting outfield pieces like Josh Reddick, it should be noted.