Once a big league closer, now working his way back from a shoulder injury, Andrew Bailey is looking to earn a spot on the Yankees opening day roster. Bailey was resigned this winter to another minor league deal, but this time around he’s healthy and there are rumblings about how good he’s looked so far this spring.
Nathan Eovaldi played catch with Andrew Bailey in the outfield at GMS Field as Joe Girardi looked on. #nyyspring pic.twitter.com/GW5PIB8r5W
— Yankees PR Dept. (@YankeesPR) February 24, 2015
The former two-time All-Star closer last pitched with the Boston Red Sox in July of 2013 before suffering a torn labrum. He attempted a comeback last summer but a setback in his rehab hampered those plans. Bailey showed up to camp finally at 100 percent and has looked impressive so far, even catching the attention of manager Joe Girardi. Bailey told Chad Jennings that he feels “night and day difference” from last spring. He’s been able to throw all his pitches with confidence. Bailey has thrown five bullpen sessions so far but has yet to face live hitters and more importantly yet to pitch on back-to-back days. Girardi certainly thinks there’s a chance he could make the team, but he needs to see Bailey work on consecutive days. The lighter workload he is seeing right now is “all geared toward Opening Day,” Bailey said. Either way it’s still very early in the spring to be making any decisions.
Big thing for N.J.’s Andrew Bailey to make #Yankees‘ roster: Show that he can handle back-to-backs, Joe Girardi said — Brendan Kuty (@BrendanKutyNJ) February 24, 2015
But with two potential bullpen spots up for grabs, if he finishes camp strong there is no reason to think that a former veteran closer wouldn’t be a great addition to the already deep bullpen. Bailey is an effective reliever in his time with the Oakland A’s and Boston Red Sox, has career 2.64 ERA, 89 saves over 218 innings.