|Andrew Bailey in good spirits following shoulder surgery||08.27.13 at 6:50 pm ET|
The right-handed reliever, who lost his closing job before undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery in July, is with the team for the first time in more than a month and will spend the nine-game homestand, which starts Tuesday with the series opener against the Orioles, in Boston.
‘It’ll be good to be around the game again, be around the guys and just get me out of the house,’ Bailey said, cracking a slight smile.
According to Bailey, all is well five weeks into his rehab following surgery last month to repair his torn labrum and torn capsule. Dr. David Altchek ‘was able to do everything he wanted to,’ which included cleaning up Bailey’s rotator cuff, and the hurler is now attending physical therapy as he seeks to regain his range of motion.
Bailey has spent much of his time since the surgery bouncing between New York City for therapy and his home in Madison, Conn., which is about two hours from both Boston and New York City.
Bailey ‘ listed at 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds ‘ is also noticeably trimmer since he last pitched, something he attributes to watching what he eats while also regularly going for post-dinner walks. Walking was one of the only ways he could exercise in the first few weeks after surgery.
‘It’s been five weeks now, and just being uncomfortable for the first week or so was pretty difficult physically,’ Bailey said. ‘Then you get tired of watching the games on TV and rooting for your guys and you want to be there and you go through that.
‘I’m in a positive frame of mind and looking forward to having a nice progression.’
That progression, though, will be a long one. Bailey is shooting to rejoin the Red Sox by July 2014.
In the meantime, he’s content to be back with the team and enjoy the work of his fellow relievers, particularly Koji Uehara, who has been dominant since replacing Bailey as closer.
‘He’s been phenomenal,’ Bailey said. ‘You look at what we had at the beginning of the season to where they’re at now, and the guys have been picking us up. ‘¦ If it wasn’t for Koji, the bullpen could’ve been really bad. He’s really held it together all year, and he picked me up when I was struggling. Guys have their up-and-down spells, and Koji just keeps on coasting. He’s a name down there that you can call anytime and know what you’re going to get.’
|Red Sox pregame notes: David Ross back with team with no timetable for return; Jonny Gomes gets the start in left; Jose Contreras and Brandon Lyon offer insurance with Pawtucket||07.25.13 at 6:30 pm ET|
David Ross is back… kind of.
The backup catcher, who since May 11 has played eight games and been on the DL with a concussion twice, was back in the Red Sox clubhouse Thursday afternoon, though there is no timetable for his return as he slowly works his way back into baseball environment and routine.
Ross said he is ‘very confident’ he will play again this season.
‘I’m feeling a lot better. It was rough there for a while, but I’m getting back,’ Ross said. ‘The guys have been playing well and I’m just glad to be back around these guys. I missed them a lot.’
Ross had his third visit with Dr. Michael Collins, a concussion specialist in Pittsburgh, on Wednesday and said he passed all of his tests, though a return to game action still seems aways off.
He will watch three or so innings of the Red Sox-Rays matchup Thursday night, the first step in slowly transitioning back into the daily routine. Friday will feature some light baseball activity ‘ mostly just throwing ‘ in Baltimore at about 50 percent, according to manager John Farrell.
Most of Ross’ issues have to do with his vestibular system, which in effect controls one’s balance. He has felt no concussion symptoms for the last three days ‘ ‘which is a big deal,’ he said ‘ but for a while that was not the case. Headaches, an unsettled stomach and irritability plagued him for much of the time he has been out since being re-placed on the DL in mid-June.
|Andrew Bailey to have shoulder surgery, season done||07.21.13 at 5:49 pm ET|
As he indicated on Friday when he spoke to reporters about his ailing right shoulder, Andrew Bailey will require surgery to fully fix the injury.
On Sunday, the Red Sox announced that the former closer will have surgery in New York on Wednesday and his season is over.
Renown orthopedic surgeon David Altchek will perform the surgery in New York.
“I think until the procedure is done, it’s just speculation at this point [about his timeline] but we’ll get a full report after Wednesday,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said before Sunday’s series finale with the Yankees.
“There were no guarantees [that] he would able to get back to the mound to a normal level through a conservative path. As Andrew weighed all the information that he got from the multiple doctors seen, it was pretty clear cut. The decision was pretty much made for him.”
|Andrew Bailey contemplating season-ending surgery, hopes to return to Red Sox||07.19.13 at 8:24 pm ET|
Andrew Bailey went on the DL Friday with a torn capsule in his shoulder, as well as a torn labrum and a sub-scapularis strain. Although Bailey was told, after consulting with both Dr. Peter Asnis of the Red Sox and two doctors in New York, that surgery would be required to fix those problems fully, Bailey said he’s considering the advice he’s gotten from doctors and determining whether or not rehabbing the shoulder will be possible in the short term. However, even the rehab could easily keep him out for the rest of the year, something that will weigh into his decision on how to proceed.
Some noteworthy aspects of Bailey’s lengthy media session to discuss his injuries and prognosis:
— The recovery period for the necessary surgery would be around 12 months, Bailey said. For that reason, and because the Sox have a strong chance of playing meaningful games down the stretch, he is considering rehab as an option.
“Surgery’s on the table, obviously,” Bailey said. “I think as a player, you dream of pitching in a pennant race and in the playoffs, and the World Series, potentially, and that’s what I want to do, but ultimately you’ve got to be healthy to do that, so I’m just trying to get all the options possible.”
“We’re just trying to see how close I can get it to being stable and that kind of stuff without injuring it further or hurting the rotator cuff or something like that,” he added. “Being 100 percent for half a year next year, or rehabbing for a little while and seeing where you’re at and potentially getting it done, September and October, and missing all of next year — that plays into it.”
– Bailey suffered the injuries when he threw a 1-2 fastball to Jed Lowrie in the eighth inning in Oakland on July 12. He remained in the game, struck out Lowrie and did the same to Yoenis Cespedes immediately afterward. However, he said he knew something was wrong after the pitch to Lowrie, although he had felt fine before throwing it.
“That was everything I had,” Bailey said of staying in the game. “I threw a pitch, the 1-2 pitch to Lowrie, struck him out, did not feel good, walked around the mound a little bit and contemplated on calling Salty out or something. I just felt it go. But I said screw it, let’s go. Ended up striking [Lowrie] out, but didn’t feel good.”
|Ben Cherington: Red Sox will ‘keep an open mind’ on bullpen trades, but Sox might not need ‘major change’||at 7:10 pm ET|
The Red Sox thought they had achieved a measure of bullpen stability just before the All-Star break. The trade to acquire Matt Thornton on the final weekend prior to the break seemed like something of an offset to the loss of left-hander Andrew Miller. But one week later, the Sox are left to confront another likely season-long loss of a key reliever with the news that right-hander Andrew Bailey has both a capsular tear and labrum tear in his right shoulder, an injury incurred in his appearance against the A’s on the final day of the first half.
The Sox had already planned to see if they could reinforce their bullpen with internal options, having called up Brandon Workman (who will start on Tuesday unless he’s used out of the bullpen before then) and left-hander Drake Britton from Pawtucket. The team added Jose De La Torre from Pawtucket to take Bailey’s roster spot on Friday. There are other arms on the horizon in the upper minors, and the Sox will try to figure out as much as they can about the group’s readiness to help.
Ideally, the Sox would like to take a homegrown approach to their bullpen shortage. But GM Ben Cherington acknowledged that he will also certainly be exploring potential trade reinforcements — something that the team was already planning on doing even before Bailey’s injury.
A brief summary:
— Cherington acknowledged that the loss of Bailey was a meaningful one, and “did move the needle” to some degree regarding the team’s trade deadline motivations.
— He believes there are internal solutions in the organization.
— He will explore trade candidates, both prior to the July 31 trade deadline and in August.
— He doesn’t necessarily foresee drastic moves. “I’m not sure this team this needs major change,” he said.
“Obviously we were counting on [Bailey] being a part of the ‘pen. And we’ve still got a little more information to gather. He may get another opinion, but he’s going to be down for some time and so, you know, the guys have to step up,” said Cherington. “I think as far as how it affects us, we’re going to give younger pitchers a chance and see what they can do. As I said when Miller went down, when a guy goes down you have to replace him somehow. You hope that the guys are already here internally, but you’ve got to keep an open mind and continue to do that over the course of the next couple days.
“You’ve got to figure out who’s pitching what roles and some new guys are going to get a chance and we’ve got a lot of confidence in those guys,” added Cherington. “At the same time we will continue to work the phones and see if there are ways to help the team from outside of the organization. Those things are hard to predict. It takes finding the right match and we’ve got a lot of good things going on this team and we’re still very confident in the guys here now.”
The Red Sox have placed reliever Andrew Bailey (shoulder) on the disabled list for a second time this season. Taking his place on the roster is Jose De La Torre, who will be available and ready for Friday’s opener against the Yankees.
In 30 games this season, Bailey went 3-1 with a 3.77 ERA with eight saves. In 28 2/3 innings, he allowed 12 earned runs. After Joel Hanrahan went down with season-ending Tommy John surgery, he was tabbed the team’s closer. But after blowing three of six chances, Koji Uehara replaced him in that role and manager John Farrell confirmed that Uehara will stay there on Thursday.
De La Torre is being recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket. In four appearances with the big league club this season, De La Torre has allowed six runs on seven hits and six walks. In seven innings he has fanned nine. In 24 games with the PawSox, De La Torre has yielded eight earned runs over 41 1/3 innings.
Peter Gammons was first to report the news on Friday.
So with Bailey DL'd(shoulder) and Bucholz tbd Boaton scrambling for Yanks and Rays
— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) July 19, 2013
|John Farrell: Clay Buchholz has a hit a ‘plateau’ in his rehab from inflammation||07.18.13 at 6:29 pm ET|
Clay Buchholz was supposed to return to work on Thursday in a bullpen session.
But he has hit a bump in the road in his rehab from lingering soreness in his right shoulder and neck. And all the Red Sox can do now is wait.
Skipper John Farrell said Thursday, during a team workout at Fenway Park, that Buchholz had his bullpen session scratched due to soreness after attempting to pick up the intensity in throwing from a mound during the last road trip.
“Over the past couple of days, [he] did not pick up a baseball,” Farrell said. “He shut down over the All-Star break. He’ll be re-examined here [Friday], at which time we’re hopeful that he would resume a throwing program.
“As optimistic as we were on this past road trip, particularly coming out of his work sessions in Seattle, where it felt like he was really turning a corner, he’s still got some lingering soreness in there. Through treatment, through some medication, letting that take hold over these past few days, that re-exam will be done [Friday] and hopefully that throwing program will start back up either [Friday] or Saturday.”
Farrell said the team allowed Buchholz to throw off a mound after being symptom-free in his flat ground work.
“It was at the increased intensity coming out of Seattle and then the follow-up bullpen in Oakland. As that [work load] was accumulating, it just felt like he wasn’t getting over that hump.
“He wasn’t having any issues with throwing long toss and intensity on flat ground and even with some shortened-up flat ground work. Once he got on the mound, and whether it was consecutive outings or consecutive work sessions of that intensity, that’s where he felt like things were starting to take a step back a little bit. As a result, that’s why there some addition anti-inflammatory medication given and just trying to get him past that plateau he’s hit.”
Farrell said Buchholz, who’s had two previous MRIs, will be examined by team doctor Peter Asnis on Friday before a decision is made to take more images of the troublesome area.
“He had an MRI coming out of the two games in which he pitched,” Farrell said. “When he felt the re-occurring symptoms, he had an MRI at that point, which didn’t show any significant changes from one that he had previously. It concurs that there’s inflammation in there, in a centralized spot. We’ve got to treat those symptoms and gradually get him back to where the endurance can sustain that intensity.”
Buchholz was in the middle of an amazing start to the season, going 9-0 with a league-leading 1.71 ERA in 12 starts. He last started against the Angels on June 8 and hasn’t pitched since.
“We all want the same thing, and that is Clay getting back on the mound. But along the way, we’ve got to balance a player’s current and long-term health. If it’s less than [100 percent], we don’t know how effective he would be. A player’s health is first and foremost, and we’re taking every step along the way to ensure that.”
Farrell maintains that it’s his hope this injury is a short-term problem and won’t languish for the rest of the season.
“We have every intention and hope and outlook that he will resume pitching this season,” Farrell said when asked if Buchholz’s season could be in jeopardy. “I wish I could give you an exact [return] date, and I know Clay would, too. There’s no one more frustrated in this than Clay, and that needs to be made clear. He’s a strong competitor, he recognizes the situation we’re in and he wants to be on the mound. That’s the bottom line. But at the same time, his body is telling him [wait].”
|Jarrod Saltalamacchia on M&M: Felix Doubront has matured, John Lackey should be an All-Star||07.11.13 at 2:36 pm ET|
Jarrod Saltalamacchia joined Mut & Merloni on Thursday afternoon, and the catcher discussed myriad Red Sox hurlers, both those doing well ‘ namely Felix Doubront and John Lackey ‘ and those not so hot, like Jon Lester.
Saltalamacchia raved about Doubront, who he said has, in effect, simply gotten smarter. The 25-year-old southpaw owns a 2.70 ERA and is limiting opposing batters to a .220/.301/.367 slash line in his last 11 starts dating back to mid-May, and his catcher credited much of that to Doubront being more aggressive and throwing strikes.
Now that he’s pitching, as opposed to just throwing, he’s getting deeper into games, too.
“He’s matured,’ Saltalmacchia said. ‘I think he’s starting to realize you don’t have to go out there and throw 95, 96 from the gate and try to blow everybody away. I think he’s really come into his own and said, ‘Hey, I need to start throwing more strikes to get deeper into games.’
‘There were times last year where he was throwing the ball well, but they were fouling balls off, he was going to 3-2 counts. It can get a little frustrating when you go to an 0-2 count and try to do too much and all of a sudden you’re in a 2-2 count. I think he’s real mature and he’s gotten a lot better. ‘¦ He’s really been working a lot quicker, too. I think that’s helping a lot.’
It’s a similar story for Lackey, who Saltalamacchia unequivocally said should be an All-Star.
Saltalamacchia compared 2013 John Lackey to the injured 2011 version, and the two are worlds apart.
‘When anybody’s not healthy, they are mentally messed up. You’re going to be trying to grind through, you’re going to try to make pitches that aren’t doing what they’re supposed to. It gets frustrating,’ Saltalamacchia said. ‘Him being healthy this year, it’s good for him because he’s like, ‘All right, I’m going to rear back and throw my fastball,’ which is what he’s always done. For him to be in that situation, where he didn’t have the velocity, and he had to rely on his offspeed stuff, it kind of wears and tears on you.
‘Him being healthy is probably the biggest key.’
Mike Hazen joined Dennis & Callahan on Thursday morning, and the Red Sox assistant general manager ‘ quite pleased with the team’s success to date ‘ said there still is work to be done.
Aside from keeping in mind what happened in late 2006 and 2011, when injuries and bad baseball derailed those teams’ seasons, Hazen said potentially shoring up what at times has been an iffy bullpen will be a point of focus.
‘If you could pinpoint an area that’s shown the biggest inconsistencies, it’s probably been [the bullpen],’ Hazen said. ‘There’s been a lot of good individual performances. I think we have a really solid core at the back end of the bullpen. Guys have stepped into certain roles. Andrew Bailey‘s been very good lately. Andrew Bailey is going to be a huge piece of what’s going to happen going forward with us.
‘There’s a core there that’s really good. The front side of that bullpen, I think we’re going to explore ‘ whether it’s internal options, like you saw last night with [Brandon] Workman, [Pedro] Beato, [Jose] De La Torre, those guys ‘ whether one or two of those guys step into that role, or we go external. And that’s something that we’re going to definitely flesh out over the next few weeks.’
Even with some question marks in the relief corps, Hazen likes his ‘motley crew’ of a team ‘ really, really likes it. He pointed to everything from the coaching staff’s day-to-day preparation to the back end of the rotation to the offense that has, on many occasions, carried the team.
He also spoke to the importance of the team’s ‘character,’ one of the 2013 Red Sox’ most discussed narratives.
‘Character doesn’t win you baseball games,’ Hazen said. ‘But character helps on days when you lose three in a row facing Felix Hernandez and Jered Weaver, and you have to go up against another All-Star in [Hisashi] Iwakuma, and you have to go out and play that day and you’re down 5-1 in the second inning.
‘It’s easy in that type of game to think, ‘Oh, man, here we go again.’ But when you have older, veteran players sitting in the dugout, looking at some of the younger guys saying, ‘Hey, kid, can you relax a little bit here? We have eight innings to play.’ ‘
|John Farrell on Salk & Holley: Cutter has been Jon Lester’s biggest problem; Andrew Bailey closing ‘would be ideal’||07.10.13 at 3:36 pm ET|
It’s analysis that is supported by opponents’ success against the pitch. According to BrooksBaseball.net, batters are hitting .299 against the pitch, whereas they managed just .196 (2010) and .211 (‘11) clips vs. Lester’s cutter in recent years.
‘One brief description where he’s been getting hurt has been with his cutter,’ Farrell noted. ‘It doesn’t have the same power, the same lateness. We’ve tried different things to regain that. But along the way his changeup has become much-improved. We still see good power to his fastball. The other night he’s 93-94 consistently. What we’re seeing at times is some inconsistent control within the strike zone. Not so much wildness. There have been more inconsistencies within the strike zone which have come back to bite him a little bit, particularly with two strikes. And a lot of times the two-strike pitch has been that cutter. We continue to narrow it down.
‘We continue to address physical and fundamental things that are there. That’s the one thing we look at right now. That pitch doesn’t have the same effectiveness he’s been known for the majority of his career.’
Lester is coming off a five-inning outing in which he surrendered five runs, boosting his ERA to 4.60 and batting average against to .261. In the lefty’s last 10 outings, he has managed a 6.49 ERA.
Farrell didn’t discount Lester’s workload ‘ having thrown the fourth-most pitches in the majors this season ‘ saying ‘I don’t think there’s anyway you can set that aside.’ But the manager still maintained that an improved cutter would most likely return the pitcher to the success he experienced earlier in the season.
‘You can only work on it so much,’ Farrell said of the pitch. ‘You begin to talk about it and you begin to visualize it, and use different techniques that allow to put yourself in that position even if you’re not out in the bullpen working on it. Physically you need those days of rest in between starts. There’s video review you begin to go back and break down and pinpoint some things. And in this case, with his cutter, it becomes more of a starting point within the strike zone.
‘For example, if the catcher’s mask was the starting point for his cutter, which had later action, a little bit more tilt to it, not it might not have that same break. It’s a matter of adjusting the starting point rather than going back to the same point he’s been accustomed for a long period of time. It can also mean limiting the exposure to that pitch. Like I said, his changeup has become almost like a split type of action. He’s been getting a lot of swing and miss and has become a put-away pitch for him. This isn’t just about sheer velocity, because the velocity is still there. It’s about the action to that secondary pitch.’
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