OAKLAND -- A's closer Andrew Bailey is almost set for his return from a right forearm injury that has sidelined him the entire season.
The two-time All-Star made another rehab outing for Triple-A Sacramento on Friday, but A's manager Bob Geren suggested Bailey could return to the team during its six-game homestand against the Orioles and Yankees.
"He's obviously getting closer and closer each time out, and the good thing about him is we've spoken after every outing to see how he feels," Geren said. "He definitely wanted to go again, so he'll go [on Friday]."
Bailey has already made three outings for Sacramento, pitching an inning each time. He has allowed just one hit and no runs during his rehab stint, but is still working on his command, as he has hit two batters and walked another.
Bailey hasn't yet pitched in a closer's role, twice throwing in the seventh inning and then tossing in the fourth during his last outing. But Geren said it doesn't matter when Bailey pitches, as long as he stays with his routine.
"The problem with telling him he has to throw in the ninth or that he has to close is that when you have somebody on a rehab assignment, you don't always know what the score is going to be or what the situation is going to dictate," Geren said. "You just pencil him [for] an inning, then you use him late in the game and go.
"All my reports on him have been velocity, command, hits, innings pitched, walks, how he felt. What actual inning he has thrown wasn't something I've paid attention to, either. It isn't really relevant."
Suzuki doesn't favor rules changes
OAKLAND -- In the wake of Wednesday night's collision across the bay that left Giants catcher Buster Posey with a broken lower left leg and torn ligaments in his left ankle, much has been made of whether MLB should pass new rules to better protect catchers from brutal collisions at the plate.
Leading the charge to adopt policies to protect catchers in vulnerable situations are Giants manager Bruce Bochy and Posey's agent, Jeff Berry. But don't count A's catcher Kurt Suzuki among the proponents for a change in the rulebook.
"It'd be hard to make a rule like that, it'd be tough," Suzuki said on Friday. "It is a dangerous position, but as a catcher, you understand everything that can happen. You just need to find ways to protect yourself."
Suzuki, in his fifth year behind the plate for the A's, understands collisions at home are a part of baseball and was almost at a loss for words when asked about Posey's injury, before finally calling what happened to the Giants' backstop a "freak accident."
"It's a scary thought," Suzuki said. "You're in such a vulnerable position, especially with the throw coming in from right field, so he had no idea where the runner was. It was a bang-bang play. Once the ball touched his glove, he got run over. It [stinks]."
That doesn't mean Suzuki thought Cousins' hit on Posey, which will likely sideline Posey for the rest of the year, was dirty. Suzuki said Cousins was just trying to score, and referred to what happened as "playing the game the right way," and the result was just unfortunate.
Suzuki hasn't reached out to Posey since the incident, but said on Friday he hopes the second-year catcher has a healthy recovery.
"He's a tough kid, and it [stinks] because he's so talented and young," Suzuki said. "He's got a bright future in front of him, so for him to have this type of injury is horrible."
Braden mum on recovery timetable
OAKLAND -- A's lefty Dallas Braden met with the media on Friday for the first time since undergoing season-ending surgery on May 17 to repair a torn anterior capsule in his pitching shoulder.
Braden was in attendance on Friday with a sling over his left shoulder after being named the 2011 spokesperson for the Play Sun Smart program, a joint initiative between MLB, the Players Association and the American Academy of Dermatology. Braden was there to help spread the word about melanoma, the deadliest kind of skin cancer.
"It's a battle we can win on our front -- we can prevent and we can treat if we are educated," said Braden, whose mother, Jodie Atwood, died of the disease while Braden was in high school.
While Braden spoke about the disease and what can be done to help prevent it, mum was the word when it came to his recovery following shoulder surgery earlier this month, as he offered only brief responses when asked about it. Braden said it was "very tough" to be away from the team, but that he's "hanging in there" and just biding his time with plenty of rest and relaxation.
Braden was 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA in three starts this season before injuring his shoulder. The southpaw, who threw the 19th perfect game in Major League history last season on Mother's Day, offered no timetable for a return, either.
"That's like me walking into the manager's office and saying what the starting lineup is going to be," Braden said about setting a return date. "There's nothing I can do at this point."
"I don't worry about things I can't control," Braden added.
Center fielder Coco Crisp was given the day off on Friday after playing in eight straight games, but Geren said he plans on playing Crisp for the rest of the homestand.
"It works out perfect," Geren said. "He had a day game yesterday, tonight's a night game, tomorrow's a night game. So hopefully, it gives him about a day and a half off on his body and it'll do him some good. He's been doing a fine job."
Tom Green is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.