Andrew Bailey Back on Red Sox Roster, Ready to Pitch in Set-Up Role While Alfredo Aceves Handles Closing Duties

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Andrew Bailey Back on Red Sox Roster, Ready to Pitch in Set-Up Role While Alfredo Aceves Handles Closing DutiesThe Red Sox will finally get a chance to evaluate the centerpiece of their trade from Dec. 29, 2011.

After undergoing thumb surgery in April, Andrew Bailey will be available to make his Red Sox debut in Tuesday's game against the Orioles. The Red Sox activated the pitcher after trading catcher Kelly Shoppach to the Mets.

When the Red Sox shipped Josh Reddick and other prospects to Oakland for Bailey and Ryan Sweeney in December, they were expecting to have an heir apparent to former closer Jonathan Papelbon, who signed with the Phillies in the offseason.

But Bailey suffered a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right thumb in spring training, sidelining him until now. During Bailey's absence, Alfredo Aceves has taken the closer role and gone 2-7 with 23 saves and a 4.14 ERA.

Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine told reporters before Tuesday's game that Aceves would keep the closer's role for the time being while Bailey adjusts to pitching against major league competition in a setup spot.

Bailey is coming off a strong appearance Sunday in Triple-A, where he retired all four batters he faced.

In recent weeks, Bailey has insisted that he would be open to pitching in a setup role, saying he doesn't want to hamper the bullpen's chemistry.

A two-time All-Star, Bailey converted 75 of 84 save chances in three seasons in Oakland.

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