Andrew Bailey threw a 25-pitch simulated game yesterday, but afterward the A’s closer reported discomfort in the “elbow area.”
Bailey has been out since March 14 with a strained forearm and has made enough progress in his recovery to potentially begin a minor-league rehab assignment within the week, but Joe Stiglich of the San Jose Mercury News reports that the A’s will likely ask him to throw at least one more simulated game first.
“I do feel I’m getting there,” Bailey told Stiglich. “I’m not totally ready to go 100 percent. I don’t know how to describe it. It’s not pulling or doing anything violent. It’s just there.”
Oakland’s bullpen has been fantastic even without Bailey, ranking second among AL teams with a 2.89 ERA, but adding a shutdown closer with a 1.70 career ERA to that mix could arguably give the A’s the deepest relief corps in the league.
The Orioles beat the Blue Jays again on Thursday evening, 4-0, and in doing so eliminated the Yankees and Astros from contention in the American League Wild Card race.
The offense pecked away with a run in each of the third, fourth, seventh, and eighth innings. Starter Ubaldo Jimenez limited the Jays to one hit and three walks with five strikeouts over 6 2/3 scoreless innings. Donnie Hart got the final out of the seventh. Brad Brach dominated with two scoreless innings to finish out the ballgame.
The Orioles and Blue Jays are now tied for the first and second Wild Card slots in the AL. The Tigers’ game with the Indians was postponed due to rain and they now sit 1.5 games behind both the O’s and Jays. The Mariners and Athletics game will begin shortly with the Mariners 2.5 games behind.
In a mailbag published on Thursday, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post says he has spoken with Arenado and his agent from the Wasserman Media Group. Based on that, he says the Rockies have not broached the subject of a contract extension with the All-Star third baseman.
Arenado will enter his second of four years of arbitration eligibility after earning $5 million for the 2016 season. He’s due to a hefty pay raise and will continue on that track into free agency after the 2019 season. It may behoove the Rockies to get extension talks started sooner rather than later. Saunders, however, thinks that Arenado wants to see if the Rockies become contenders in the next two seasons before signing the dotted line.
Arenado, 25, enters Thursday’s action batting .293/.361/.567 with 40 home runs, 130 RBI, and 112 runs scored in 678 plate appearances. His 40 homers is best in the National League and the 130 RBI are best in the majors. He has an argument for winning the National League Most Valauble Player Award.