We have a little bullpen news this morning, as the A’s get ready to play the Colorado Rockies in their final Cactus League game before flying north for the Bay Bridge Series.
–Joey Devine was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento and closer Andrew Bailey acknowledged he’ll be starting the season on the disabled list. I’m sure you’ll find neither surprising. The good news for Devine is his elbow is feeling good, but he hasn’t been sharp enough to claim one of the seven bullpen spots. Bailey played catch this morning for the first time since being diagnosed with a forearm strain, and he’s hopeful he won’t miss much time. “It’s better to miss a little time now than a month or two or three down the road.”
Significantly, Geren mentioned Grant Balfour as a closer option along with Brian Fuentes until Bailey returns. Fuentes has looked shaky recently and Balfour seems to have put things together after struggling with some mechanical issues earlier in camp. It’s worth mentioning that Geren never had singled out Fuentes as the fill-in closer, but based on Fuentes’ experience, it was assumed he’d be the guy. I can’t blame Geren for leaving his options open. “Breslow has been good in that role too,” Geren said. “I was encouraged with Michael Wuertz (Saturday night).”
Something tells me we’ll see the closer-by-committee approach until Bailey gets back …
Here’s the lineup vs the Rockies: