|As he nears return, Andrew Bailey ‘[doesn't] really care’ about role||07.28.12 at 1:23 pm ET|
NEW YORK — Pitcher Andrew Bailey, who took the trip with the Red Sox to New York, said it doesn’t matter what his pitching role is with the Red Sox once he returns from injury. With Alfredo Aceves having recovered from a rocky start to become a highly effective closer (he’s converted 19 of his last 21 save opportunities with a 2.51 ERA in his last 41 appearances dating to April 23), Bailey said that he will contribute out of the bullpen however the Red Sox see fit to use him.
“I don’t really care. I just want to pitch,” Bailey said. “At this point I’ve missed enough time to know that, he’s done a hell of a job this year and the bullpen’s been great all year. I just kind of want to find my role, whatever that is and finish this year and get to the playoffs. That’s what our goal is.
“I’ve said that from day one, even in Oakland. I don’t really care what I’m doing as long as I’m pitching in the big leagues and we’re winning. That’s all I care about. Individual stats aren’t really a big thing for me.”
The 28-year-old threw a live batting practice session on Saturday (with Pedro Ciriaco and Daniel Nava standing at the plate against him) which featured sets of 15 and then 10 pitches.
“I felt good,” Bailey said. “Each and every time out it’s going to get better. First time facing live hitters, it’s just kind of working on throwing the ball. Same thing with this. You can’t ever simulate a game situation so keep looking forward to the next step and like I said it’s kind of just over the next couple of days, Tuesday or Wednesday, is when I’ll start.”
Bailey said that he is now ready to commence a rehab assignment.
“That’s the next step,” said Bailey, who underwent surgery to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his right thumb just prior to the start of the season. “I don’t think we have any more live BPs or anything to get to so it just depends on when and where and figuring out the schedule forward.”
The righty said he’s hoping his rehab stint won’t take as long as spring training.
“We’re just going to go one at a time for right now,” Bailey said. “I’m sure the process of getting back is probably throwing back to back and that kind of stuff. So a couple [games] and then back to back [outings] and maybe one more and we’ll be good to go.”
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