Bailey could miss rest of season with ailing shoulder
Surgery an option as reliever weighs what to do to deal with damage
BOSTON -- The Red Sox emerged from the All-Star break with some worrisome news. Right-hander Andrew Bailey might be done for the season.
The reliever felt some discomfort in his shoulder following his appearance on July 12 in Oakland and was examined in Boston on Monday. A followup with Dr. David Altcheck on Tuesday confirmed what Bailey and the Red Sox feared.
"Both exams concur, there's some damage," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "I think Andrew is at the point now of just weighing all the information that he's receiving to take the next step. There's some damage to the labrum, there's some damage to the capsule. So it's fairly significant."
Surgery is definitely an option Bailey is considering.
"Surgery is on the table, obviously. I think as a player you dream of pitching in a [pennant] race and in the playoffs and World Series, potentially, and that's what I want to do," said Bailey. "But ultimately you have to be healthy to do that, so I'm just trying to get all the options possible."
Even if Bailey took a more conservative approach and tried rest and rehab, there's no guarantee he would pitch again in '13.
"There's still no guarantees with that," said Farrell. "You'd be looking at a fairly prolonged rehab if that's the path chosen."
Bailey still holds out some hope that he can help the Red Sox again at some point down the stretch.
"Where we are as a team and where we see ourselves heading, we always want to be a part of it, and hopefully I still have an opportunity," Bailey said. "To have an injury like this is very frustrating. We're just trying to gather as much information as we can."
The Red Sox have already lost two pitchers for the season who were considered vital parts to the bullpen -- right-hander Joel Hanrahan (Tommy John surgery) and lefty Andrew Miller (right foot surgery).
Bailey had spent time as Boston's closer earlier this season before going into a slump. He had pitched much better of late and had been setting up for Koji Uehara.
"The last couple weeks have felt great," said Bailey. "Then that one pitch. So that's where we are right now. Our team is playing very well and, selfishly, I want to be a part of it. Doing my job recently has been satisfying, now to have this. These guys will be all right. We had a bunch of injuries this year, and it's a story of picking each other up."
In an effort to add as much depth to the organization as it can following the recent injuries, Boston signed veteran righties Jose Contreras and Brandon Lyon to Minor League deals on Friday. Both pitchers will report to Triple-A Pawtucket.
"We've had a tough 10 days for our bullpen, given the injuries we've sustained," said Farrell. "I think our thoughts right now are with Andrew and what's the best action for him and the commitment that he'll have to make to the rehab, whether that's through strictly rehab or following a surgery."
Without question, the next couple of weeks will be challenging for general manager Ben Cherington as he tries to bolster the team before the non-waiver Trade Deadline on July 31.
Not only are their bullpen holes to fill, but there is uncertainty regarding ace starter Clay Buchholz, who continues to have trouble bouncing back from a neck strain.
"It likely does make it more challenging, but it doesn't change the job," said Cherington. "You've got to figure out who's pitching what roles, and some new guys are going to get a chance, and we've got a lot of confidence in those guys.
"At the same time, we will continue to work the phones and see if there are ways to help the team from outside of the organization. Those things are hard to predict. It takes finding the right match, and we've got a lot of good things going on this team and we're still very confident in the guys here now."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.