Andrew Bailey throws bullpen session, nears rehab stint

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Andrew Bailey has yet to pitch for the Red Sox thanks to a torn thumb ligament followed by a strained forearm, but the reliever threw a 20-pitch bullpen session yesterday without any problems.

Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston reports that Bailey is scheduled to throw another bullpen session Wednesday, at which point he could be cleared for a simulated game or perhaps even a minor-league rehab assignment.

A rehab stint would start the 30-day clock on his return ticking and Bailey guessed that he’d probably be asked to make 6-7 appearances in the minors before coming off the disabled list. Whether he’d return as the Red Sox’s closer is unclear, but either way Boston’s bullpen can certainly use the help from a pitcher who, between injuries, has posted a 2.07 ERA and 174 strikeouts in 174 career innings.

Tigers, Royals to play a regular season game in Omaha next year

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Major League Baseball announced today that the Kansas City Royals and the Detroit Tigers will play a regular season game in Omaha, Nebraska next year to open the festivities for the College World Series.

The game will be played on Thursday, June 13, 2019 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha two days before the first game of the Series. It will be televised nationally by ESPN. TD Ameritrade Park has a seating capacity of 24,000, with the ability to expand to 35,000 spectators. Which, um, probably means this will be one of the larger crowds for the Royals next year if the club’s current trajectory continues.

This will be the fourth small-park, special occasion regular season game for Major League Baseball in recent years. hIn July 2016 the Atlanta Braves and the Miami Marlins played at Fort Bragg, North Carolina for service members. Last August the Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals played in the inaugural Little League Classic, which took place at Bowman Field in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. There will be a second Little League Classic in Williamsport this August between the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Mets.