John Farrell revealed such during a WEEI interview on Thursday. Bailey, of course, was expected to be Boston's closer after coming over from Oakland, but injuries sidelined him for a good portion of the 2012 season. The 28-year-old was then eased back into things while working his way up to full strength.
If, in fact, Bailey is 100 percent, then Farrell would be glad to have Bailey close games out for the Sox next season.
"I would say this, provided he's healthy, because when you look back at 2011, that's an absolute 'yes,'" Farrell said of Bailey being the closer. "This year, in his case, the amount of time he missed, and what he had to come back from, I don't think he was his normal self. I do know when he was with Oakland he would get a tremendous amount of swing and miss up in the strike zone and he has well above average life to his fastball up. He's one of those pitchers who is more effective when he does pitch up rather than down in the strike zone."
"That's my initial view of him," Farrell continued. "My answer to that question is, 'Is it a 100 percent Andrew Bailey?,' and I think the answer comes quickly after that."
Bailey was limited to 19 games in 2012, and he posted a 1-1 record with a 7.04 ERA 15 1/3 innings. The right-hander converted six of eight save opportunities, and many assumed he would instantly be placed in the closer's role going forward into next season.
The two-time All-Star racked up 75 saves during three seasons in Oakland, and his ERA sat at 2.07, so the track record is certainly there. It's always good to hear it from the skipper's mouth, though.
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