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Andrew Bailey may be lost for season after suffering shoulder injury

07.19.13 at 5:16 pm ET
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Andrew Bailey

Andrew Bailey

The Red Sox bullpen took yet another hit Friday.

Prior to the Red Sox’ series-opener against the Yankees, Sox manager John Farrell said that Andrew Bailey’s right shoulder has been diagnosed with having had damage to both the labrum and capsule. It was a determination confirmed in a second opinion performed by Dr. David Altchek Tuesday.

While Farrell noted that Bailey hasn’t yet decided if the pitcher will choose surgery, there is a strong possibility that the reliever will need a procedure performed on his shoulder. The likelihood, regardless of the decision, is that Bailey will be out for the remainder of the season.

According to Farrell, Bailey first felt the pain in his shoulder Friday night while facing Jed Lowrie, who was the reliever’s second-to-last batter of the game. He hadn’t previously felt any pain in the shoulder.

“He finished the inning and it was apparent as the night wore on and the next day he felt continued soreness,” Farrell said. “When we returned off the West Coast he had an MRI and exam on Monday. He was seen for a second opinion by Dr. Altchek over the break, and both exams concur, there’s some damage. I think Andrew is at the point now of weighing all the information that he is receiving to take the next step.”

Farrell later added, “If he were to take an aggressive conservative approach, which would be an aggressive rehab, there’s still not guarantees with that. You’d be looking at a fairly prolonged rehab if that’s the path chosen.”

Bailey becomes the second reliever lost for the season by the Red Sox due to injury over the last two weeks, with Andrew Miller having undergone season-ending surgery after sustaining torn ligaments in his left foot July 6.

“We’ve had a tough 10 days in our bullpen, given the injuries we’ve sustained,” Farrell said. “I think our thoughts right now are with Andrew and the commitment he’ll have to make to the rehab, whether that’s through strictly rehab or following surgery.”

Bailey had been much more effective over his last four appearances, allowing just two hits in 5 1/3 innings, striking out seven and walking one. The right-hander, acquired from the A’s (with outfielder Ryan Sweeney) after the 2011 season in exchange for Josh ReddickRaul Alcantara and Miles Head, said that his injury-marred two seasons in Boston have been “frustrating” but expressed optimism that he would pitch again while offering his hope that he will do so for the Red Sox.

The Red Sox signed veteran relievers Brandon Lyon and Jose Contreras to minor-league contracts Friday, assigning the pair of relievers to Triple-A Pawtucket.

Farrell also noted the team is positioned to receive internal help, citing the possibility of Brandon Workman, Drake Britton and Rubby De La Rosa all seeing time in the bullpen.

“We’re going to get a look at some young guys,” the manager said. “Junichi is obviously in that mix. The addition of [Matt] Thornton, which has probably got a little more left on left capability … That’s not to say that he won’t face right-handers. We’re confident that Breslow has equal ability against lefties and righties. Workman is available in the bullpen (Friday night), which is the initial intent that when we brought him here, is to take a look at him in the bullpen. That’s not to say if certain things happen, or if other things take place, he would find himself back in the rotation. We’re having to mix and match a little bit right now.”

Some potential candidates who might be able to fill a late-inning relief role are Jesse Crain of the White Sox and Brewers’ closer Francisco Rodriguez. Both pitchers are in the final year of their contracts, although Crain is currently on the 15-day disabled list with shoulder soreness. The right is, however, expected to be ready to return with the next two weeks.

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