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.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Mariners are among the teams that have contacted the Reds about outfielder Jay Bruce. The Mariners enter play Wednesday 51-48, six games out of first place in the AL West and 4.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot. Adding an impact bat like Bruce could help in their effort to reach the postseason.
Norichika Aoki and Seth Smith have handled the bulk of the playing time in left field. While Smith has hit well, Aoki has not. Bruce came into Wednesday’s game against the Giants batting .271/.324/.567 with 24 home runs and a league-best 78 RBI.
Bruce can become a free agent after the season if his controlling team declines his $13 million club option for the 2017 season by paying him a $1 million buyout. If he’s traded mid-season, his new team won’t be able to make him a qualifying offer, so the club option may be more enticing than it looks at first glance.
A third-inning two-run home run by Adam Rosales off of R.A. Dickey put the Padres up 2-0, but it also helped the Padres tie a National League record. The Padres have homered in 25 consecutive games, matching the 1998 Braves, the 1994 Tigers, and the 1941 Yankees. The major league record is 27, set by the 2002 Rangers.
The Padres hit three in total on Wednesday in an 8-4 victory against the Blue Jays. One of those dingers was an eighth-inning solo shot by rookie Alex Dickerson, who has now homered in four consecutive games himself. The one he hit on Monday is worth watching, as it got into the upper deck at the Rogers Centre.
As the Padres recently traded Melvin Upton, Jr. to the Jays, Dickerson is likely going to see regular playing time. That’s especially true if he keeps hitting like this.