Andrew Bailey is the Red Sox’ closer.
Bailey, who blew another save opportunity in the second game of Tuesday’s doubleheader, is in the midst of a rough patch. Manager John Farrell made it clear, however, that the closer’s job still belongs to Bailey, and that it’s simply a matter of the right-hander figuring some things out on the mound.
“Andrew Bailey is our closer, and yet we fully recognize that we have some work to do with him,” Farrell said Wednesday on WEEI’s Salk & Holley Show. “Right now, what has plagued him is that fastball has been up to his arm side, where left-handers have hurt him with the long ball. So getting him down in the strike zone consistently. And I think more than anything is just getting the breaking ball over in either the first pitch or fastball counts. That’s been where some of the issues have come in, because I think a hitter can go in the box looking for something hard up in the zone. That’s his signature pitch, and as he’s kind of drifted away from the rubber and repeating his delivery, he’s lost a little bit of that velocity and that second gear to his fastball that has really been his calling card. So when he’s gone to that fastball where he’s been successful in the past, that hasn’t been there for him.
“We’ve got to adjust off of what he’s currently throwing with right now,” Farrell added. “But for the time being, he is definitely our closer.”
Farrell’s use of the phrase, “for the time being,” leaves open the possibility that other options could be explored if Bailey continues to struggle. The Red Sox skipper seems confident in Bailey’s ability to bounce back, though.
We now at least know that the righty will be given an opportunity to work through his issues.