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.
Manager Bud Black has tabbed Jon Gray to start on Opening Day for the Rockies. That will be Monday, April 3 in Milwaukee against the Brewers in an afternoon contest.
Gray, 25, is starting Opening Day for the first time in his career. He’ll be the sixth different Rockies pitcher to start Opening Day in as many years.
The Rockies and Gray had a bit of a scare on Friday as he left his spring training start with discomfort in his left foot, but everything came up clean in an MRI. He pitched again on Wednesday with no issue.
Last season, Gray went 10-10 with a 4.61 ERA and a 185/59 K/BB ratio in 168 innings. A consensus top prospect entering each of the previous three seasons, Gray surprisingly put up better numbers at Coors Field — the most hitter-friendly park in baseball — than away.
Today Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker named Blake Treinen as his closer. Treinen has saved exactly one big league game.
There wasn’t necessarily an obvious choice, however. Last year Washington had Mark Melancon, but with him gone and GM Mike Rizzo’s failure to land a high-profile closer in the offseason, it became a contest between Treinen Shawn Kelley and Koda Glover.
Treinen posted a 2.28 ERA with 31 walks and 63 Ks in 67 innings in 2016. His big improvement last year came against lefties, who had tattooed him in the past. He pitched well this spring as well, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.
The Nats are our favorites to win the NL East, but we do have some questions about the pen. Blake Treinen will take the first crack at answering them.