TORONTO -- So, after all the hoohah over who would be the Red Sox closer when Joel Hanrahan came back from the disabled list, John Farrell declaring here that Andrew Bailey would close until further notice, the bullpen door opened in the ninth inning Thursday night -- and Hanrahan jogged out for the save.
What in the name of Justin Trudeau is going on?
Turns out there was a plausible explanation. Farrell said Bailey has a biceps issue that first surfaced after his last outing Sunday in Boston and was still present during a side session here. When Bailey still felt it before Thursday’s game, last call went to Hanrahan, who made the most of the opportunity, earning his fourth save after a game-ending double play started by shortstop Stephen Drew.
“He feels most comfortable in the ninth inning,’’ Farrell said of Hanrahan. “He’s had a couple rough bumps; it was obviously the hamstring had an effect on that. But even after the leadoff base hit, he gets outs.’’
Bailey has a history of not staying healthy. Last season, there was the freak thumb injury that kept him out until mid-August. He missed 52 games in 2011 with a strained forearm, and 44 games in 2010 due to elbow surgery and an intercostal muscle strain. In 2009, there was knee surgery, and back in 2005, the big one, Tommy John elbow reconstruction.
Understandable, then, why red flags go up. Not to worry, Bailey insisted Thursday night.
“It’s early, man,’’ he said. “Just felt a little something the last time I pitched and we’re just being very cautious with it. We've got a lot of guys down [in the bullpen] who can do a lot of different jobs. They want to be smart about it, take extra time. It shouldn’t be more than a couple of days. Just letting it die down.’’
Bailey didn’t offer an exact explanation of just what the issue was. Discomfort?
“Very minor,’’ he said. “Nothing crazy. Like I said, we want to get out in front of it, be smart about it. We have the staff that can handle it.’’