Tag:Andrew Bailey
Posted on: May 23, 2011 11:00 am
Edited on: May 23, 2011 11:01 am

Pepper: Bo Porter hoping to manage

By Evan Brunell

EYE ON THE JOB: Nationals' third-base coach Bo Porter knows what he wants, and that's a manager's job.

Porter has been one of the hottest names in managerial circles the last couple of seasons, so he figures to get the call eventually -- perhaps as early as next season. He's built up good experience so far, coaching for two years in the Marlins' farm system before becoming Fredi Gonzalez's third-base coach in Florida. He moved to the same role in Arizona for 2010, becoming bench coach once A.J. Hinch was fired. Porter interviewed for the Nationals' opening in 2009 (that went to Jim Riggleman) and also threw his hat in the ring last winter for the Mariners and Pirates jobs.

One might wonder why Porter's had a hard time snagging that manager's job if he's so highly regarded. That's because it's not easy for a first-time manager to get his break.

“It’s hard for anybody at any level to get their first job,” said Nationals general manger Mike Rizzo. “You have to have the right situation to be the perfect candidate to get your first job. There’s some luck involved, and you have to have that stick-to-itiveness that transcends any time line.”

Porter, for his part, believes being third-base coach is one of the -- if not the -- most challenging assistant coach positions in all of sports, and it's a spot that helps hopefuls prepare for becoming skipper.

“Jim Riggleman can’t jump into my brain and make a decision when the ball is in motion,” Porter said. “The same thoughts it takes to manage a game, it takes to be a third-base coach.” (New Jersey Star-Ledger)

MADOFF SCHEME: The New Yorker comes out with a fantastic article on the owner of the Mets, Fred Wilpon. It chronicles his rise to becoming the owner of the Mets, as well as detailing the scandal that threatens his grip on the team in the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme. It's a long article, but worth the read. (New Yorker)

: Everyone knows the Rays have 11 of the first 75 picks in the draft. But San Diego also has a nice haul, with five of the first 58. That will add a ton of talent from the talented draft into a Padres system already deep in corner infielders. That means you can bet on middle infielders being featured in the draft, along with the crucial center field spot and of course, pitching. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

: The Milwaukee Brewers have two first-round picks and although it would be justified for the Brewers to seek drafting a hitter and pitcher apiece, scouting director Bruce Seid says the club will draft the best available player, period. Milwaukee could stand adding a shortstop to its system. Things get a bit more complicated as the No. 15 pick is due to being unable to sign their first-rounder last year. That means that this year, that pick is unprotected, and the player must sign as Milwaukee would not receive compensation again. That could influence the Brewers' choice toward drafting someone they know will sign. (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

: Logan Morrison is quickly emerging as the public face of the Marlins, in no small part due to his large Twitter following, cultivated because of his grounded personality and willingness to engage with the fans. Oh, and it doesn't hurt that he's hitting for a 1.044 OPS, either. (Palm Beach Post)

A-BALL Cardinals
: The Cardinals are bringing their low Class-A affiliate to Busch Stadium Thursday for rookies to get a taste of what it's like to play in a major-league stadium. "I think what happens being in the lower minor leagues [is] the big leagues can feel far away," Low-A pitching coach Tim Leveque said. "I think when you play in a ballpark like that, it gives them a taste of what their ultimate goal is. Hopefully it will motivate them and help them realize there is an end to the rainbow." (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

: Pablo Sandoval is recovering so nicely from his injury that he could be back in a Giants uniform a week or two ahead of schedule. Manager Bruce Bochy says Sandoval could be back in two weeks. S.F. certainly needs his return, as Mark DeRosa is back on the DL and a tandem of Mike Fontenot at short and Miguel Tejada at third will eventually be exposed. (Comcast SportsNet Bay Area via Twitter)

:Jeff Keppinger could be back by the end of the week after being out since mid-January due to foot surgery. The second baseman will likely steal away the bulk of playing time that has gone to Bill Hall, who has already started losing his job with Angel Sanchez getting more at-bats. Keppinger won't win the starting job outright, but he'll receive liberal playing time. (MLB.com)

: The Athletics will get their closer, Andrew Bailey, back as soon as this week, as he will ready to make his second rehab appearance Monday night. The 2009 Rookie of the Year had a strong 2010 despite missing a chunk of time to injury. He has yet to make his 2011 debut. (San Jose Mercury News)

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Posted on: May 15, 2011 1:00 pm
Edited on: May 15, 2011 1:02 pm

Bailey throws well, ready for rehab stint

By Matt Snyder

Injured A's closer Andrew Bailey took a big step forward in his rehab from a forearm injury Sunday. He threw in an extended spring training game Saturday and reports indicate he looked great. He threw his full arsenal of pitches and his fastball worked up into the mid-90s. (SFGate.com)

Bailey is going to be re-evaluated by team doctors in Oakland before the next step is officially determined, but there's every indication he'll head out on a minor-league rehab assignment. Look for Bailey to have several outings before being activated from the disabled list, but there wouldn't be a rehab assignment for a closer that lasts more than a few weeks without setbacks. Thus, it's a good bet to see Bailey on the A's before the end of May.

The A's already have one of the best top-to-bottom pitching staffs in the majors, and adding Bailey only makes it stronger. In two seasons, Bailey has recorded 51 saves with a 1.70 ERA, 0.91 WHIP and 133 strikeouts in 132 1/3 innings. He's made the All-Star Game in each of his two big-league seasons and won the Rookie of the Year award in 2009.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: May 11, 2011 11:34 am

Bailey still has elbow discomfort

By Matt Snyder

It looks like the reinforcements to the already-stellar A's pitching staff will have to wait for a bit.

Recovering A's closer Andrew Bailey threw 25 pitches in a simulated game Tuesday, but the news wasn't all good for the right-hander. He said that he still feels discomfort in the elbow area.

"I do feel I'm getting there," Bailey said. "I'm not totally ready to go 100 percent. I don't know how to describe (the pain). It's not pulling or doing anything violent. It's just there." (Mercurynews.com)

Bailey's injury is officially listed as a forearm strain, but the Mercury News notes the elbow -- which has been operated on twice -- is a major part of the problem.

Tuesday was the second time Bailey threw breaking pitches, and he said he was taking everything slow so that he's completely pain-free before coming back. There's reportedly at least one more simulated game to be thrown before Bailey heads on a rehab assignment.

Bailey, 26, is a dominant closer when healthy. In two seasons, he's saved 51 games with a 1.70 ERA and 0.91 WHIP with 133 strikeouts in 132 1/3 innings.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: May 8, 2011 12:21 pm

A's dominant pitching staff about to get better

By Matt Snyder

The Oakland A's already carry the best ERA (2.69) in the majors

The next closest mark in the American League is 3.07 (the Angels, who have plenty of credit to give to Dan Haren and Jered Weaver on that mark). With a stellar rotation and solid bullpen, the A's have proven early in the season to have the best top-to-bottom pitching staff in baseball.

And they're about to get reinforcements.

Andrew Bailey, the closer who has been sidelined all season with a forearm injury, threw 30 pitches Saturday night in simulated game action. He even mixed in his first breaking pitches of the season. (SFgate.com ) It would appear Bailey's ready to go on a rehab assignment quite soon. Since he's only a reliever, once that happens he'll be in the majors in no time.

Through two seasons in his young career, Bailey has 51 saves, a 1.70 ERA, 0.91 WHIP and 133 strikeouts in 132 1/3 innings.

Meanwhile, Joey Devine -- who has been sidelined for two years after Tommy John surgery -- has yet to allow a run in 8 1/3 innings at Triple-A Sacramento. He's struck out 12 batters with zero walks.

It's very feasible the A's add those two talented arms to the back-end of the bullpen by the third week of May. Between those two, the experience of Brian Fuentes and the fine work the A's are getting from Grant Balfour, Michael Wuertz and Brad Ziegler, it's safe to say the A's are going to continue to own opposing hitters for the rest of the season.

Of course, they could always use more run support. The reason the A's are only .500 with such a superior pitching staff is because the offense ranks 13th (of 14) in runs scored.

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Posted on: April 26, 2011 10:21 pm

Which closers are succeeding?

StreetBy Evan Brunell

What position in baseball has the worst job security?

Has to be closers, right? Tuesday, Dodgers GM Ned Colletti said that Jonathan Broxton had lost his grip on the job. While manager Don Mattingly later disputed that, it's clear that Broxton is on extremely thin ice. Joe Nathan, Matt Thornton, Fernando Rodney and Ryan Franklin have already lost their jobs while John Axford, Brian Fuentes, Joakim Soria and Brian Wilson have their hands full trying to reduce their ERA.

But enough about flailing closers, how about acknowledging the ones off to tremendous starts so far?

Entering Wednesday's games, Huston Street led all of baseball with eight saves against a scant 1.88 ERA for the surging Rockies. Street has 157 career saves already, although he hasn't been a full-time closer the entirety of his seven-season career. The 27-year-old has been a bit lucky to start the year, but his talent is for real.

Meanwhile, the ageless Mariano Rivera tops the AL leaderboard with seven saves, although his ERA currently would mark his highest since 2007. This is a 2.53 ERA we're talking about here. 

In Atlanta, Craig Kimbrel has ran away with the job after opening up in a presumed platoon with Johnny Venters. Kimbrel's ERA is a spotless 0.96, and he's also struck out 13.5 batters per nine. Surprisingly that isn't even the highest for a closer as New York's Francisco Rodriguez has struck out a staggering 13 in 7.2 innings. Joining Kimbrel with ERA's under 1.00 is San Diego's Heath Bell with a 0.90 mark and five saves. Bell figures to be a hot commodity on the trade market this summer, although it's no guarantee San Diego will move him.

Tied with Kimbrel for six saves include Pittsburgh's Joel Hanrahan, Cleveland's Chris Perez, Florida's Leo Nunez and Oakland's Brian Fuentes. Of those, only Fuentes doesn't have a firm hold on the job, as his history indicates he's not an elite closer. That's reflected in his 4.06 ERA on the year thus far and should lose his job once Andrew Bailey returns and proves ready to assume his role.

Two other closers in Jose Contreras and Neftali Feliz with strong starts to the season only recently hit the disabled list. Of the other strong starters, Kyle Farnsworth for Tampa Bay jumps out. Here's a pitcher who's always had tremendous stuff but has been a basketcase. He seems to have become a new pitcher over the last couple years, though, and he's certainly enjoying life as a Ray with five saves and a 1.23 ERA. Still, it feels as if he's due for a blowup any time now.

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Posted on: March 14, 2011 6:46 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:18 pm

A's Bailey to see doctor on Tuesday

UPDATED 8:30 p.m.

By C. Trent Rosecrans

A's closer Andrew Bailey will see Dr. James Andrews on Tuesday and is hoping for good news -- but searching for good news from Andrews is like looking for a vegetarian at a steakhouse -- it could happen, but doesn't seem likely.

Bailey left Monday's game against the Indians in Goodyear, Ariz., after suffering from elbow discomfort and forearm tightness. Bailey left with one out in the fifth inning after doubling over in pain following a pitch to Cleveland's Ezequiel Carrera.

He immediately left the game and saw the team's head trainer. He was not made available to the media after the game, but the San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser caught up with him via text (and then tweeted about it).

The A's have taken it slow with Bailey this season after his 2010 was ended early following surgery to "clean out" his right elbow. He underwent Tommy John surgery in college. In a text to Slusser, Bailey said it didn't feel like his injury that required the ulnar collateral ligament replacement surgery, "but that's obviously what I thought at at first."

It was just Bailey's second outing of spring.

If the 2009 American League Rookie of the Year misses any time due to injury, left-hander Brian Fuentes would be the obvious candidate to replace him as the team's closer. A four-time All-Star, Fuentes signed a two-year deal with the A's in the offseason. He has 187 career saves, including 24 last season for the Angels and Twins, as well as a major-league leading 48 in 2009.

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Posted on: January 14, 2011 4:25 pm

Top five bullpens in baseball

With the signing of Rafael Soriano, the Yankees are poised to have one of the best bullpens in the game.

But who is No. 1? And for that matter, who are the top five bullpens in the game?

Glad you asked.

Bell1. SAN DIEGO Padres
Closer: Heath Bell
Setup: Luke Gregerson, Mike Adams
Others: Joe Thatcher (L), Dustin Moseley, Ernesto Frieri, Chad Qualls

Why: The Padres dumped Adam Russell, Edward Mujica and Ryan Webb but still have the best bullpen in the business. Heath Bell is one of the best closers in the game while Gregerson and Adams would close for many clubs. Thatcher may not total many innings (35 in 65 games) but it's hard to find a better situational reliever.

Closer: Mariano Rivera
Setup: Rafael Soriano
Others: Joba Chamberlain, David Robertson, Pedro Feliciano (L), Damaso Marte (L)

Why: Soriano and Rivera will form one of the best one-two punches to close out a game (although every other team on this list can make a similar claim), but the real strength comes in depth. Chamberlain isn't the same pitcher he once was, but still has talent while Robertson could one day close. Feliciano isn't a top-end left-hander, but is a durable workhorse that should rack up plenty of appearances.

Feliz3. TEXAS Rangers

Closer: Neftali Feliz
Setup: Alexi Ogando, Frank Francisco
Others: Darren Oliver (L), Arthur Rhodes (L), Mark Lowe

Why: It's easy to overlook this bullpen because it's full of aging left-handers (two of them!) and players that have toiled in relative obscurity, but Feliz led all closers in saves as a rookie, Ogando threw up a 1.30 ERA and Francisco is a former closer -- who could close for many clubs.

Bailey4. OAKLAND Athletics
Closer: Andrew Bailey
Setup: Grant Balfour, Brad Ziegler
Others: Joey Devine, Michael Wuertz, Craig Breslow (L)

Why: A late-season injury kept Bailey under 50 innings pitched, but not before the reigning Rookie of the Year winner announced his arrival among the elite of closers. Grant Balfour vaults the A's onto the top five list and will pair with the submariner Ziegler. They lack a top left-handed option, but the returning Devine (Tommy John surgery) and slider specialist in Wuertz will give batters fits.

Kimbrel5. ATLANTA Braves

Closer: Craig Kimbrel (pictured) or Johnny Venters (L)
Setup: Venters/Kimbrel
Others: Scott Linebrink, Peter Moylan, Scott Proctor, George Sherrill (L)

Why: Kimbrel and Venters are simply very filthy pitchers. Kimbrel, in 20 2/3 innings, struck out a staggering 40 batters (although that came with 16 walks) and is the favorite to close. He'll be rivaled by Venters, who hurled 83 innings in his rookie year, punching out 93. It's not every day a club has two relievers capable of punching out over 10 batters per nine. The middle relief corps is fairly weak, but Linebrink should eat innings and and Moylan is a quality arm.

You may notice that the Red Sox were left off the list -- if this was a top six list (hint: it's not), Boston would have ranked sixth. Jonathan Papelbon will be set up by the dangerous Daniel Bard, and the additions of Bobby Jenks and Dan Wheeler should deepen the club. However, Papelbon's volatility and lack of a top-end left-handed reliever hurt. You could make a case that the Braves belong sixth given the lack of experience in the closer and setup roles. Boston does beat Atlanta in middle relief, but a closer and setup men is more important to your bullpen.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: September 23, 2010 8:13 pm
Edited on: September 23, 2010 8:21 pm

Surgery for A's Bailey

Andrew Bailey
Oakland closer Andrew Bailey, who was shut down this week with elbow soreness, doesn't have ligament damage, but will have cleanup surgery that will end his season.

According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, Bailey saw noted orthopedist James Andrews Thursday, and Andrews will perform the arthroscopic surgery. Bailey is expected to be ready for spring training.

Bailey, who missed nearly a month of the season with a muscle strain in his ribcage, finishes with a 1.47 ERA and 25 saves in 28 chances. Craig Breslow and Michael Wuertz will likely get future save opportunities.

-- David Andriesen

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com