Andrew Bailey has been sidelined since mid-March with a strained forearm, but the Oakland closer told Jane Lee of MLB.com that “there’s really no timetable” for his return.
Bailey threw a 25-pitch bullpen session yesterday, but hasn’t progressed to mixing in off-speed pitches yet and said afterward that “we’re just going as we feel.”
Brian Fuentes and Grant Balfour have been splitting closing duties in Bailey’s absence and the A’s bullpen is one of the few in baseball deep enough to withstand losing a pitcher with a 1.70 ERA and 133/37 K/BB ratio in 132 innings through his first two seasons.
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo suffered what appeared to be an awful injury during Sunday’s game against the Pirates, twisting his ankle while attempting to field a bunt. An MRI revealed that he has a lateral sprain of his right ankle, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Rizzo will wear a walking boot for five to seven days before being reevaluated.
Given that there are only two weeks left in the regular season, it seems doubtful Rizzo would be able to return to aid the Cubs’ NL Wild Card chase. The club entered Monday leading the second Wild Card by a game over the Brewers.
Rizzo, 30, is batting .289/.404/.516 with 26 home runs, 93 RBI, and 88 runs scored in 592 plate appearances on the year. Victor Caratini started at first base for Monday’s game against the Reds. The Cubs may also use Ian Happ, Willson Contreras, and Jonathan Lucroy at first base while Rizzo is out.