The Oakland Athletics have had a fairly solid 2011 Spring Training campaign, but it took a significant turn for the worse as All-Star closer Andrew Bailey had to leave yesterday’s game with discomfort in his throwing elbow. Bob Geren stated after the game that it was forearm tightness, but neither has been completely confirmed. Whatever the case, Bailey informed Susan Slusser yesterday that he was headed to Alabama to meet with Dr. James Andrews later today.
For many baseball fans, hearing Dr. James Andrews connected to a player is never a good thing. Dr. Andrews handled Bailey’s Tommy John surgery back in 2005, so this is not necessarily the end of the world. I’d imagine we’ll have an update either later today or tomorrow as to the extent of any possible injury.
The only “good news” if you can call it that is that the A’s did bring in a lot of relief help in the offseason. The A’s added former closer Brian Fuentes and reliever Grant Balfour to go with an already strong bullpen. If Bailey’s injury keeps him out for any extended period of time I’d imagine Fuentes will get the first crack at the closer job. Fuentes had 48 saves last season for the Angels after compiling 111 over four seasons with the Rockies.