03/14/11 8:35 PM ET
Bailey to visit renowned surgeon Andrews
By Jane Lee / MLB.com
Bailey winced in pain as he reached for his elbow following a pitch to Cleveland's Ezequiel Carrera with one out in the seventh inning, and he quickly departed the game with the club's head trainer by his side and his future -- widely unclear because of his injury-prone past -- in limbo.
The news comes just four days after Bailey made his spring debut, when he struck out two Royals and retired the side in order. He was brought along slowly this spring after undergoing cleanup surgery, administered by Andrews, on his previously repaired right elbow two weeks before the end of the 2010 campaign. He underwent Tommy John surgery while in college in 2005.
The 26-year-old righty said the pain was not similar to what he experienced in the past, though he admitted he doesn't know much at this point, and is just "hoping it's not too serious."
2010 Spring Training - Oakland Athletics
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Spring Training Info
A's manager Bob Geren said Bailey recently felt normal soreness that creeps up during Spring Training, but that he believed he was ready to go. Bailey's velocity, Geren noted, "was good before that pitch [to Carrera]," as evidenced by a 94-mph reading on the radar gun.
"Anytime you see someone leave the game with tightness, it's concerning," Geren said, "but we'll reserve judgment until after he gets checked out."
Bailey's late-season elbow injury marked his second time being sidelined in 2010, as he missed nearly a month while stationed on the disabled list with a right intercostal strain beginning in late July. Still, Bailey managed to garner his second straight All-Star appearance, and compiled a 1.47 ERA, 25 saves and a 0.96 WHIP in 47 appearances.
The 2009 American League Rookie of the Year has put together a 1.70 ERA with 51 saves over the past two seasons, while emerging from Double-A obscurity to premier Major League relief pitcher.
In the event Bailey is not ready for the season, the A's are likely to turn to offseason pickup Brian Fuentes, who hasn't allowed a run in five outings this spring. The four-time All-Star lefty, who led the Majors with 48 saves for the Angels in 2009, limited opponents to a .181 batting average -- fifth-lowest among AL relievers -- in 2010, while finishing 4-1 with a 2.81 ERA and 24 saves for the Angels and Twins.
A's general manager Billy Beane spent much of the winter stocking up on depth, particularly in the bullpen, after watching his club make use of the disabled list 23 times last year.