Remember Andrew Bailey? He was once the Athletics’ lights-out closer, but recurring arm injuries limited his effectiveness and reduced him to a grand total of 52 2/3 innings between 2012-15. On the rebound, the Phillies inked the right-hander to a minor league contract in December. And now he’s the favorite for the Phillies’ closer’s role, MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reported on Tuesday.
Bailey, 31, has allowed three runs in five spring innings thus far, all of them coming in his most recent appearance on March 22. Manager Pete Mackanin likes what Bailey has brought to the table thus far, but would like to see something in particular:
“I want to see more velocity out of him,” Mackanin said. “I know he can pitch. He’s a true competitor. He has that good curve ball and cutter. But I want to see more velocity.”
According to Brooks Baseball, Bailey averaged about 93 MPH with his fastball in his 8 2/3 innings as a Yankee last season. He used to sit at 95 and above several years ago.
David Hernandez was considered to be the favorite for the closer’s role going into spring training, but he has been battling tendinitis in his right tricept. Dalier Hinojosa is another hurler competing for the role. Neither has Bailey’s experience, which might give the veteran the leg up when Mackanin makes a final decision.