Athletics Closer Andrew Bailey to Meet With Dr. James Andrews After Experience Discomfort in Pitching Elbow


March 15, 2011

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — The Oakland Athletics can only hope that All-Star closer Andrew Bailey isn't seriously hurt.

Bailey left with discomfort in his pitching elbow after facing three batters Monday in a 9-8 loss to the Cleveland Indians. The right-hander had elbow surgery Sept. 24 to remove bone chips and bone spurs. He had Tommy John surgery in 2004.

"He had tightness down his forearm, from the elbow down," manager Bob Geren said. "He's being checked out."

Bailey will be examined Tuesday by renowned specialist Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala. The A's said they would provide more information on the reliever's status once it was available.

The AL Rookie of the Year in 2009 and an All-Star the past two seasons, Bailey spent a month and a half on the disabled list last season. He has a 1.70 ERA and 51 saves in 132 1-3 career innings.

He left after giving up an RBI double to Travis hafner and then throwing one pitch to Ezequiel Carrera.

"He winced after he threw the pitch," Geren said. "His velocity was good until that."

Geren said Bailey, who has been brought along slowly in camp, registered 94 mph on the radar gun. He had struck out two in one perfect inning in his spring debut Thursday against Kansas City.

"He's been doing everything the right way," Geren said. "We moved him back one day to give him some rest, but he had not experienced any problems."

Even if Bailey ends up being sidelined for an extended period, Oakland does have depth in the bullpen. The A's spent $18.6 million this offseason to sign a pair of proven, late-inning relievers: former closer Brian Fuentes and setup man Grant Balfour.

Chris Carter had three RBIs on two home runs for Oakland, including a thundering shot off the scoreboard well beyond the left-field fence. His two-run drive to right-center tied the score at 8. Both came off first-pitch fastballs by Jeanmar Gomez.

Carter does not have a roster spot despite four consecutive productive seasons in the A's farm system. The 24-year-old has totaled 123 homers and 406 RBIs since 2007 in the minors – but also had 538 strikeouts. He fanned 21 times and hit only .186 with three homers in 24 games for Oakland late last season.

A's starter Dallas Braden allowed six runs – four earned – in four innings.

"He had a positive breaking ball, negative command," Geren said. "We had some young-player mistakes behind him, too."

Hafner had three hits, including a pair of RBI doubles, while Jack Hannahan and Shelley Duncan each hit a two-run double for Cleveland.

The Indians' third base outlook got a little clearer when rookie Lonnie Chisenhall was among seven players sent to the minors despite hitting .478.

"He still has development to do in all aspects of the game," general manager Chris Antonetti said. "He has strengths, but needs to hit better against lefties, get better strike-zone judgment and is still transitioning from shortstop to third. He also has to mature as a person and player."

Former shortstop Jason Donald has the inside track to open at third – though he has missed seven of the past nine games with a sore left hand, which was hit by a pitch March 5.

"We had a second MRI taken and it showed nothing broken, but a very deep bone bruise," Donald said. "I hope to be back this weekend. I need to get more reps at third."

Hannahan's two hits gave him a .370 average in 11 games as he keeps pressing to win the job.

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