ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Andrew Bailey threw 15 pitches in a simulated game at Tropicana Field this afternoon. Facing teammates Mike Carp and Ryan Lavarnway, Bailey got three fly balls.
“I felt good. Was throwing all my pitches,” Bailey said. “My arm feels good.”
The next step will be for Bailey to pitch an inning for Triple A Pawtucket on Saturday at McCoy Stadium against Indianapolis. He would then rejoin the Red Sox in Chicago on Monday.
Sox manager John Farrell said Bailey would return to closing once he is activated off the disabled list, Bailey has not pitched since April 28 because of a strained biceps muscle.
Bailey would have preferred to be activated right away. But he complied with the team’s desire for a brief rehab assignment.
“We kind of discussed that. What we talked about is that I missed enough time to warrant just at least one inning. Kind of getting sharp. But everything feels great. It’s just kind of getting back baseball-wise. We agreed to go one inning and I’ll be fine,” Bailey said.
Farrell believes a one-game rehab stint makes the most sense.
“The fact is he’s 19 days from his last game. He’s a guy that pitches with a lot of adrenalin in that role. The next progressive step would be in a game situation against a different uniform and all the other things that we can’t reproduce here in a sim game situation,” the manager said.
Bailey was pitching well before his injury. In 13 appearances, he allowed two earned runs on six hits over 12.1 innings with four walks and 20 strikeouts.
Bailey said the biceps is no longer an issue.
“Once everything calmed down in there, it was pretty normal,” he said. “The trainer said there would be one day when I come in here and feel great. That’s kind of what happened. As soon as we were able to cross that bridge, it was getting back on the mound and the routine of things.”
Farrell said he has spoken to Bailey at length about making sure he keeps the team informed about his physical condition after each outing.
• Farrell said the Red Sox have not discussed the idea of moving Daniel Bard out of Double A Portland to extended spring training.
The righthander has struggled mightily since he was optioned back to Portland on April 28. In five appearances, Bard has pitched 3.2 innings and allowed six earned runs on five hits and 13 walks. He has struck out only two. Of Bard’s last 109 pitches, 37 have been strikes.
For the season, counting the majors, Bard has walked 19 and thrown eight wild pitches in 13.2 innings.
“He’s going through a pretty tough stretch right now,” Farrell said.