Andrew Bailey “real close” to making Red Sox debut

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Andrew Bailey has been on the disabled list all season following a spring training thumb injury, but the Red Sox reliever is on the verge of returning after making back-to-back Triple-A appearances Wednesday and Thursday.

Overall on his minor-league rehab assignment Bailey has allowed one run in five innings with a 9/1 K/BB ratio and Justin Albers of MLB.com reports that his fastball was clocked as high as 94 miles per hour, so performance-wise he certainly looks ready to face big-league hitters again.

Or as Bailey put it in a radio interview with WEEI: “I feel real close.”

Bailey was acquired from the A’s for Josh Reddick and two prospects in December after serving as Oakland’s closer for the past three seasons, but it’s unclear if manager Bobby Valentine will immediately throw him into the ninth-inning role or stick with Alfredo Aceves as closer.