Andrew Bailey Restarts Rehab, ‘Not Far’ From Pitching Against Real Competition

Andrew Bailey Restarts Rehab, 'Not Far' From Pitching Against Real CompetitionBOSTON –– After a slight setback, Andrew Bailey is progressing much better.

Last month, the Red Sox closer experienced discomfort in his right arm during a bullpen session. The hiccup prompted the team to shut down Bailey after prematurely speeding up his rehabilitation.

But Bailey, who hasn't played at all this season due to thumb surgery, tossed a 30-pitch bullpen session on Tuesday. Based on his performance, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine expects he'll start a minor league assignment in the coming days.

"Good, really good," Valentine said of the reports he's received on the pitcher. "Last 10 days, he's felt as good as he's felt in a long time. Not far from probably pitching against some hitters."

Since Bailey is a closer, he likely won't require much time in the minors as he recovers from the injury. The focus on the assignment would be to raise his confidence level by slotting him in back-to-back appearances.

In the meantime, Alfredo Aceves has filled in at closer, converting 20 of 24 save opportunities.

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