UPDATE: Abraham now reports that Bailey was already told that surgery is recommended on his thumb. If Dr. Thomas Graham agrees with the diagnosis, the surgery could happen as soon as tomorrow.
8:26 PM: Andrew Bailey’s thumb injury? Yeah, it could be a lot more serious than we originally thought.
Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports that Bailey’s right thumb was examined today in Boston and the news was “not good.” Surgery is now on the table as a possibility and he’ll be in Cleveland tomorrow to get a second opinion from Dr. Thomas Graham, a hand specialist and surgeon.
It’s pretty much a given that Bailey will begin the season on the disabled list at this point, but no word on how long he could be sidelined if surgery is indeed required. Alfredo Aceves and Mark Melancon loom as possible replacements for the ninth inning, but one wonders if the Red Sox will rethink moving Daniel Bard to the rotation if Bailey needs to miss an extended period of time.
Mariners right-hander Erasmo Ramirez has been shut down for two weeks with a minor lat strain, reports Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times. It’s a precautionary move, as Ramirez felt some tightness in his arm and could not complete his scheduled bullpen session on Saturday.
There’s no word yet on whether Ramirez will be able to recover in time for the start of the season, though he’s expected to claim a rotation spot again this spring. The 28-year-old righty has been dogged by injuries throughout his six-year career, but finally managed to piece together a full season on the mound in back-to-back stints with the Rays and Mariners in 2017. He went 5-6 in 19 starts for the two clubs and turned in a cumulative 4.39 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 through 131 1/3 innings.
The Mariners are no stranger to pitcher injuries, either. They lost a number of their top arms to various elbow, arm and shoulder injuries last year and cycled through 40 total pitchers as they limped toward a 78-84 finish. Comments from club manager Scott Servais indicate that the team will keep a close eye on Ramirez throughout his recovery, though Divish notes that right-hander Andrew Moore and lefty Ariel Miranda could also slot into the no. 5 spot if Ramirez experiences further setbacks.