BOSTON (CBS) – The Red Sox are just a couple of days away from opening the 2012 season, and all the talk is about thumbs.
Both Andrew Bailey and Josh Beckett are dealing with thumb ailments, and will be looked at by a hand specialist and surgeon in Cleveland on Tuesday.
Baseball insider Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com joined The DA Show Monday night, and said with Beckett, there isn’t much to worry about.
“Beckett does have a history of, I don’t know if overreacting is the right word, but of needing to be re-assured about anything physical,” said McAdam. “If you remember a few years ago, he was convinced there was something going on with his elbow; the Red Sox ran a bunch of tests and didn’t see anything. But he wanted to see Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, and they were on board with that to give him peace of mind. As it turns out there was nothing wrong with the elbow. I suspect that is probably what’s at work here.”
The same cannot be said for Bailey though.
“You don’t go see a second specialist in Cleveland – one who has operated on two Red Sox players in recent years, Kevin Youkilis and Jarrod Saltalamacchia – and it does look as though surgery is in the cards for Bailey. How long of a recovery time, I think we’re getting a bunch of different answers there but clearly this is not just out for the first week of the season while a blister heals. This is a more serious thing and it throws the bullpen into a state of chaos before the season even begins.”
So with Bailey likely hitting the disabled list, who can the Red Sox turn to at closer?
“They do have a couple of option out there. They could go with Mark Melancon, who closed for Houston last year,” said McAdam. “But pitching for the worst team in baseball in the worst division in baseball is a whole lot different from pitching for the Red Sox in the AL East. I think they have to evaluate is he’s suitable here, and can he get us through as many weeks or months this is going to be or do we have to piece it together and do closer by committee?”
“(Alfredo) Aceves is someone, now that he isn’t being considered for Saturday’s start, I guess he could also come in and save a game in the ninth inning,” said McAdam. “A third candidate could be Vicente Padilla, who a year ago began the season as the Dodgers closer. No perfect solutions, clearly, but at least some options.”
Padilla recorded three saves and five holds for the Dodgers in April and May last season.
Do the Red Sox even know when Bailey suffered his thumb injury? What did he think of Aceves breaking the Beckett news? And what does McAdam think of Boston’s two winter teams, and their marches to the postseason?