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Activated Bailey won’t start out as the closer

In the lineup for Joe Stiglich today …

It’s anticlimactic news, to be sure, that Andrew Bailey was activated today and is available to pitch. Billy Beane told me Friday it would happen if he had a good outing that night, which he did. Of course, Bailey was here Saturday and Bobby Cramer packed up and left, which made it academic.

But the fact that Bailey is finally on the active roster is nonetheless momentous. He’s going to make a bullpen that’s really hitting its stride that much stronger. Bob Geren has so many options, particularly when his starters can pitch into the seventh, that Bailey won’t have to feel pressured to jump right back into the closer role. And the A’s don’t want him doing that anyway, since he didn’t do that in any of his rehab appearances in Sacramento and still hasn’t yet pitched on back-to-back days, which a closer realistically needs to be able to do.

“We’re obviously pleased that he’s back. It makes a good bullpen even better,” said Geren. “Off the bat, I’ll use him in non-save situations. We’ll start with one and go from there and find out how he looks, how he feels. When he’s ready to assume the closer’s job, I’ll give it back to him. He’ll pitch in a non-closer role until I’m comfortable with him closing.”
Geren didn’t say how many outings Bailey might need to be ready for the ninth inning. He said he wouldn’t necessarily put Bailey in an earlier inning low-pressure situation just to get him comfortable.
“The game dictates it,” the manager said. “We have to get him in there and keep him in sharp. And we also have to get him an inning or two or three, whatever it takes, to get him where he feels 100 percent ready. He has not gone back-to-back, either, and that’s something we have to monitor and establish when he can do that.”
Bailey is fine with that program. He’s been careful all along in his rehab work, and said he actually might have been able to come up soon but wanted to make sure he was mentally prepared for pitching in the big leagues as well being physically ready.

“As far as my role here, whenever the phone rings and my name is called, that’s when I’ll go out there and pitch,” he said. “I think Bob’s going to try to get my feet wet a little bit with some regular game action before we make a decision on the closer’s role. As far as going back to back, it’s up in the air right now. I think it’s going to be a day-to-day type of thing. Obviously I haven’t done that in the minor leagues. But I think for them it was more important for them to have me back and we can go day to day with how I feel.”

Bailey said he talked with Geren by phone while the A’s were in Anaheim and actually asked for an extra outing in Sacramento Friday night.

“ I expressed that I needed one more just to get over the hump of getting in a game and focusing on command as opposed to how I felt,” he said. “I’d rather do that in Triple-A than here and not hurt the team. I think after my second or third outing I was ready, but maybe do one more just to make sure the confidence was there and being able to focus on getting outs.”

Probably a pretty good chance we’ll see Bailey today.

The A’s made a minor trade, dealing infielder Steve Tolleson to San Diego for cash considerations. Tolleson hit .286 in 25 games for Oakland last year after hitting .332 in Sacramento. He was hitting .284 for the RiverCats this year and had not played in Oakland.

 

Here are the lineups. With lefty Zach Britton throwing for Baltimore, Hideki Matsui is on the bench. Josh Willingham’s the DH today, with Conor Jackson in LF.

A’s: CF Crisp, 1B Barton, LF Jackson, DH Willingham, C Suzuki, ,RF DeJesus, 2B Ellis, 3B Kouzmanoff, SS Pennington. P Moscoso

Balt: LF Pie, CF Jones, RF Markakis, DH Guerrero, C Wieters, 1B Scott, SS Hardy, 3B Reynolds, 2B Andino. P Britton.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carl Steward

  • Son of Hendu

    Geren doesn’t hold grudges. He keeps trotting out Tito out there. Even with Devine ready. This Geren is a head scratcher.

  • wesley strzegowski

    Looks like Willingham is slowly the power hitter for the A’s. The series with the yanks will show if we can play with the big boys.