ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Andrew Bailey threw 20 pitches in the bullpen at Tropicana Field on Tuesday afternoon and felt fine. Bailey has been on the disabled list since April 29 with a biceps strain.
"I mixed in curveballs, cutters changeups, couple of everything. ... Moving in the right direction," Bailey said. "I felt good the last few days."
Bailey will pitch in a simulated game on Thursday afternoon. The Sox will decide then whether he will go on a brief minor league rehabilitation assignment before being activated.
Bailey made it clear he would prefer to come back after the simulated game. But the Sox seem to prefer he pitch at least one inning in the minors first.
"It’s to get additional adrenalin into some kind of game activity,” manager John Farrell said. “It’s going to be somewhat sterile here at 2:30 in the afternoon on Thursday. To take it for a test run, I think, would be helpful. And to answer any questions that Andrew might have when he steps on it with the adrenalin inside a given game.”
Bailey has the right to refuse a rehab assignment. But that is fairly rare.
"The one thing that he’s been great about in this whole situation is giving the feedback on how he feels [and] having input into the overall plan going forward. So far it’s been positive and he’s responded to every progressive step favorably," Farrell said.
Said Bailey: "I feel great, bicep feels great. It sucks that it happened. But you have to move past it and keep moving forward."
With Joel Hanrahan lost for the season, getting Bailey back would add much-needed depth to the bullpen. He had pitched well before the injury.
"I've said a number of times, they brought me over here to do a job last year. I've missed a hell of a lot of time," Bailey said. "The way I was throwing the ball, I'm confident I can get back to that and do that for the remainder of the season. It's important, especially with Joel gone now, that I get back and do my thing."