Oakland closer Andrew Bailey took another step in the right direction on Saturday in Arizona.
According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, the right-handed reliever tossed 18 pitches in an extended spring training game and reported no abnormal pain or discomfort in his once-injured right forearm. He touched 94 mph with his fastball and recorded four outs.
Bailey is now headed back to Oakland to meet with team physicians for a reevaluation. If his arm checks out fine, it’s likely that he will be shipped off to one of the Athletics’ minor league affiliates early this week to begin a rehab assignment.
Bailey has been on the disabled list since the start of the regular season. Once healthy, he should almost immediately reclaim ninth inning duties from Brian Fuentes, who tallied his ninth save last week.
TORONTO — The Blue Jays clinched a postseason berth Thursday without taking the field.
Toronto was assured of an AL wild card berth when the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.
If Toronto holds its current position as the first of the AL’s three wild cards, the Blue Jays would open a best-of-three wild-card series at Rogers Centre next week.
“These guys are excited to be in this position,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “You’ve got three really good pitchers lined up against a good Boston team, playing at home. So I think it’s more excitement more than it’s nerves or anything. I think the guys are going to come out and be ready to roll on Friday night.”
Toronto became the fourth AL team to clinch a playoff berth, joining division champions Houston, the Yankees and Cleveland. The Astros and Yankees have first-round byes.
The Blue Jays last went to the playoffs in 2020, when they were knocked out with two straight losses to Tampa Bay.
Eight of the 12 berths in the expanded postseason have been clinched: The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis earned division titles, and Atlanta and the New York Mets are assured no worse the wild cards while still competing to win the NL East. The Dodgers have a first-round bye.