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Andrew Bailey Return Imminent ?

May 27, 2011

Buster Olney tweeted today that the waylaid A’s closer whose absence has created quite the role-related firestorm in the Oakland bullpen this week could return soon, he tweets,

“The expectation is that Andrew Bailey will return to Oakland’s bullpen by Sunday, at the latest.”

This would be welcome news for the club and hopefully would give the other relievers and opportunity to sort out roles better. Bailey has a rehab outing tonight in Sacramento with the River Cats, however manager Bob Geren won’t insert him into the closer role right out of the gate saying,

“We’ll more than likely give him some low-leverage innings, but you never know about your need. If he’s the only, best available, I could use him in that role. In an ideal situation, we’d get him an inning or two without doing that first. That would be the plan.”

This would be smart, though I anticipate the overuse of Bailey to come sooner rather than later with Geren at the helm. This move should bring us some closure to the Fuentes fracas but also more importantly adds an additional very talented arm to the bullpen. While there is no guarantee this will be his final rehab appearance, I do find it a bit surprising that they have yet to pitch him on back-to-back nights and feel that that experiment (if indeed he is called up Sunday or earlier) is best left for a major league game. There will need to be a corresponding move should Bailey be added to the 25-man roster and that is where things get interesting as there is no clear cut answer about who to dispatch to Sacramento. Despite good numbers as of late I wonder if Craig Breslow would be a candidate for demotion? The way Geren has used him indicates he doesn’t trust him in close situations. Otherwise, David Purcey seems safe as he has no options left and has proven adept at pitching multiple innings, and Michael Wuertz despite his flat slider the past few outings has no options either precluding him from being sent to Sacramento. Brad Ziegler has options but seems fairly high on Geren’s list and I do not foresee the A’s eating Brian Fuentes‘ salary (nor should they) in light of his commentary regarding his use. The more interesting aspect of this transaction might not be the beneficial return of Bailey but the resultant roster move.

In other bullpen news there is still no word on the fate of Jerry Blevins, nor have there been any (that I’ve seen at least) corrections regarding his being DFA’d yet somehow “still on the 40-man roster” or any explanations of why it was expected he’d end up in Sacramento.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. May 27, 2011 4:53 pm

    And it looks like the odd man out was Purcey.

    • May 27, 2011 8:23 pm

      What do you think of the move? I’m not crazy about Sizemore but we shall see how things pan out.

      • May 27, 2011 10:59 pm

        I honestly know little to nothing about Sizemore, but seems to be more of a need position that relief pitcher. That being said his OPS+ is horrible. I know he was a top prospect at one point and time, but is not really showing it in the bigs as of yet.

        Purcey was pitching well, but in the Oakland system those guys have been a dime a dozen. Will they continue to be though?

        I guess I am mas o menos. Did not ruin my day but it did not make my day either. I would have thought they could get more for Purcey and the timing seems a little odd.

      • May 27, 2011 11:34 pm

        Yeah I am with you sort of. I like Sizemore’s minor-league numbers, but so far they haven’t translated the MLB level. That said I think he is an improvement over Kouzmanoff or LaRoche and I’d rather have him in Oakland than (if I had to choose to get rid of one I’d go with Kouz due to his lack of versatility) Kozumanoff so his being in Sacramento sort of makes this deal a bit more confusing for me. I liked Purcey’s potential, and the fact he could potentially start going forward and in the interim served as the lone longman option in the pen – a role filled by Cramer for the two days he’s in Oakland before Bailey is back and no one can go a bunch of innings. Though I like him a lot I think Breslow given how he is being used isn’t super valuable to the A’s this year but would have a ton of trade value to a team like the Yankees or Brewers in desperate need of LHP bullpen help and could’ve got us a bit more in return than Purcey has.

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  1. Purcey We Hardly Knew You, Sizemore Added « The Todd Van Poppel Rookie Card Retirement Plan

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