Andrew Bailey could miss the start of the regular season because of a right thumb injury

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Red Sox closer Andrew Bailey is in danger of missing the beginning of the 2012 season due to soreness in his right thumb. Sean McAdam of CSNNewEngland.com has more:

The last time Bailey pitched, it was in a minor league game, which would seem to indicate that the Sox are contemplating placing him the disabled list to start the season. It’s much easier to backdate a player — placing him on the DL retroactively — when he hasn’t pitched in a major league spring training game in a while.

Specifically, the DL stint could be backdated to March 26, allowing Bailey to return to big league action on April 10.

The 27-year-old right-hander averaged under 45 appearances in his last two seasons as the Athletics’ ninth-inning man due to a variety of ailments. It seems he has carried that injury-proneness with him to Boston.

Alfredo Aceves, who was bumped from the rotation race Sunday, could be asked to fill in at closer.