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.
Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw is nearing his return to the mound, according to club manager Dave Roberts. Both Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) and fellow lefty Rich Hill (left middle finger blister) are scheduled to toss simulated games on Saturday; depending on the outcome, Roberts says Kershaw could forgo a minor league assignment and slot back into the rotation by Thursday.
Kershaw, 30, was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis as the team closed out their Mexico Series at the start of the month. He has not made a start in several weeks, but was finally able to resume throwing on Sunday and managed to get through two successful bullpen sessions. Though Dodgers’ ace hasn’t been completely injury-free over his 11-year career in the majors, this is the first significant issue he’s had with his pitching arm so far. The team is expected to take every precaution with the lefty, and will likely limit him to just four innings during Saturday’s simulated game.
Prior to his injury, Kershaw was working on another dominant run with the club, sporting a 2.86 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.8 SO/9 through his first 44 innings of the season. While Kershaw, Hill and left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu served their respective terms on the disabled list this month, the Dodgers utilized a combination of relievers Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart, both of whom impressed during their limited time in the rotation.