Andrew Bailey over lat pull, cleared to face live hitters

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Red Sox closer Andrew Bailey suffered a minor lat pull while performing vertical leap drills on one of the first days of spring training. But he has already moved past the injury and is ready to begin playing catch-up with the other relievers in camp.

According to WEEI’s Rob Bradford, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said Wednesday that Bailey has been cleared to face live hitters and could soon appear in his first Grapefruit League game.

Here’s Valentine, via WEEI.com:

“Bailey is ready. He threw the bullpen (session on Tuesday). The next time might be to a hitter, but it might be batting practice. We’re going to see how he feels. He might want to jump right into a game. He’s pain-free and feels like he’s throwing the ball fine.”

Bailey was acquired this offseason in a five-player trade with the A’s. The 27-year-old right-hander has registered a 2.07 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 9.0 K/9 in 174 career innings. He also has 75 saves in 84 tries.

Video: Jaime Garcia hits a 399-foot grand slam

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Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.

The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.

Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.

As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:

Ryon Healy exits game after taking a ground ball to the face

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Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.

Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.

Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.