BOSTON (CBS) – Joe Giza, a producer in the WBZ-TV sports office, blurted out as soon as the news broke the Red Sox had acquired closer Andrew Bailey from Oakland, “remember the last closer they got from the A’s?”
Yep. That would be Keith Foulke. And we all remember what he did.
I’m not saying that Andrew Bailey is that kind of pitcher just yet. After all, Foulke was coming to Boston off an incredible 2003 season where he saved 43 games in 86.2 innings of work. He had only allowed 56 hits while walking 20 and striking out 88. He was also 9-1 with a 2.08 ERA. Pretty eye-popping numbers.
Bailey had lingering injury issues last season and didn’t pitch until May 29th. He didn’t put up numbers that were as good as his first two seasons. In 42 games he was 0-4 with a 3.24 ERA with 24 saves in 26 chances, which is very good.
In pouring over his numbers from last season a positive sign was his stats in save vs. non-save situations:
In 15 non-save games he went 0-3 with a 4.91 ERA. He gave up eight earned runs on 15 hits over 14.2 innings.
In 27 save situations Bailey went 0-1 with a 2.33 ERA. He allowed seven earned runs on 19 hits in 27 innings.
I also found it interesting that Bailey was familiar with new manager Bobby Valentine. The two have done various charity work in Connecticut, where they both live. That can’t hurt as far as familiarity is concerned.
The move also allows newly acquired reliever Mark Melancon to step into a set-up role. Melancon will join Matt Albers, Bobby Jenks, Alfredo Aceves, Scott Atchison, Andrew Miller, Franklin Morales, Felix Doubront, as well as possibly Daniel Bard.
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That is pretty good depth heading into Spring Training. It also allows the Sox the ability to move either Bard or Aceves (or both) into the starting rotation if they want to. Although, I would still prefer to have both remain in the pen.
Finally, sources I have had exchanges with tell me that there is still a possibility the Sox add some starting pitching. However, it doesn’t look like they will pursue a right-handed hitting outfielder. The Sox were impressed with Mike Aviles in Puerto Rico while they also hope Darnell McDonald can return to his 2010 form.
But the bottom line is the Red Sox have their closer, and took a major step in the right direction towards the 2012 season.
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