"I actually felt comfortable out there, which is great," said Bailey, who last pitched in a Major League game on July 12, 2013. "I was pumped up. I was excited. The ball was coming out good and it was a lot of fun."
In one inning pitched he allowed one unearned run on three hits.
Bailey is expected to appear in Thursday's Grapefruit League game against the Braves. It will be the first time he has faced live hitters since July 12, 2013. Manager Joe Girardi told the paper that he'd like to see Bailey pitch out of the bullpen on back-to-back days before he can consider him a candidate to crack the big-league roster.
"The way the shoulder is, it's pretty complicated," Bailey said Wednesday. "And you're like, Is it ever going to happen? But the doctor said 18 to 24 months and we're in month 19, so pretty much right on track."
Bailey, 30, is attempting to come back from a shoulder injury. He has not pitched in the majors since 2013 due to the issue. While Bailey has been able to participate in bullpen sessions this spring, Cashman took a more realistic view of the situation. "It’s one of those things where, non-roster situation, it’s a flyer, and the odds are against it," Cashman said. "And it didn’t work out for us last year. But because of who he is, his makeup, his work ethic, all those things, it made it easier to say, 'All right, let's keep trying,'" he added.
Cashman stressed that while things look good now, the team wants to see how Bailey will respond in game situations. Bailey, meanwhile, has been optimistic during camp, saying he feels like he's finally over his injury.
Bailey posted a 3.77 ERA over 28 2/3 innings back in 2013.
"One hundred percent," Bailey said. "I came in and spent the offseason training, working as I would if I played last year. The doctor gave me 18, 24 months (to be healthy after surgery), and we’re in that 18th, 19th month. Everyone around here, training staff, coaches and strength and conditioning have all kind of (treated it as if) I’m a normal guy with some needs. Hopefully we get rid of those needs. Everything feels great. I’m with the team and doing everything as I would normally, and if I need a little extra work here or there, that’s fine too. I’m here to compete and earn a spot."
Bailey has thrown five bullpen sessions since reporting to Tampa and threw Tuesday in a session that impressed manager Joe Girardi.
"I thought today he looked pretty good, actually," Joe Girardi said. "I talked to Gil Patterson about it. Compared to where he was last year to where he is (now), there’s significant improvement. I don’t know exactly what we’ll see as far as games, and his bullpens are a little more spread out than maybe some of the other relievers, but that’s on purpose right now, and our hope is that we can catch him up and keep him healthy."
Bailey missed the entire 2014 season after going 3-1 with a 3.77 ERA and 39:12 K:BB ratio in 28 2/3 innings with Boston.
“To feel as good as I do and locate as well as I have been, it’s a pretty awesome feeling,” Bailey said. “I feel fresh and ready to go, and excited for the next step.”
Bailey has been sidelined since July 2013 due to a shoulder injury that ultimately required surgery. The winner of the 2009 AL Rookie of the Year award, Bailey has racked up 89 saves in five seasons while posting a 2.64 ERA in 218 innings.
|CBSSports.com Player Ranking|
|10/31/2013 vs St. Louis|
|Last 7 Games|
|Complete Game Log|
| 5 || 6 |
| 7 || 8 |
| 9 |
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| 16 || 17 |
|More Pitching Stats|
|Minor League Pitching Stats|
|2010||AAA-Sacramento River Cat||0||0||54.00||1||1||0||0||0||0.1||3||2||2||0||0||0||1|
|2011||AAA-Sacramento River Cat||0||0||0.00||4||0||0||0||0||4.0||3||0||0||0||2||1||3|
|2012||AAA-Pawtucket Red Sox||0||0||0.00||3||0||0||0||0||3.1||1||0||0||0||0||0||4|
|2012||AA-Portland Sea Dogs||0||0||9.00||1||0||0||0||0||1.0||3||1||1||0||0||0||2|
|2012||R-GCL Red Sox||0||0||0.00||2||2||0||0||0||2.0||2||0||0||0||1||1||4|
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