Red Sox: Whole lot of pressure for Bailey to return

Andrew Bailey has been top-notch at the back of the Red Sox bullpen ... when healthy. (Getty Images)
Andrew Bailey has been top-notch at the back of the Red Sox bullpen … when healthy. (Getty Images)

Things have not exactly gone as planned in the back end of the Red Sox bullpen so far this season. The closer whom the Red Sox traded for this offseason, Joel Hanrahan, is out for the remainder of the season as he undergoes elbow surgery after recording just four saves.

Set-up man and former closer Andrew Bailey has only appeared in 13 games and is now on the disabled list with right bicep tightness, forcing the Red Sox to go with Junichi Tazawa as their closer in the meantime. Tazawa has appeared in two games since being tabbed with the closers title and allowed a run in each of those appearances, including a home run in the ninth inning of a tie game last Saturday in the Sox’ loss to the Blue Jays. Following the game he acknowledged there is some added pressure being the closer.

“I think there is some additional pressure to perform well, but I’m just trying to concentrate on each pitch,” Tazawa said through an interpreter. “I think I’ll be able to perform fine.”

As it stands now, the key to the bullpen is Bailey, as he is the only reliever who seems equipped to handle the added pressure of closing games. With Bailey in that role it allows other members of the bullpen to pitch in roles they are more comfortable with.

The team has two outstanding set-up guys in Koji Uehara and Tazawa. Uehara is sixth in the American League in holds (eight), and has held opponents scoreless in 13 of 16 appearances. Tazawa, who is much more suited for this role than closer, is second in the AL in holds with nine.

With Bailey scheduled to return Monday, at the latest, according to manager John Farrell, the bullpen should be able to get back to normal. Bailey has performed quite well this season and has the track record to show he is capable of holding down the fort at closer for a full season, having recorded 24 or more saves in three straight years in Oakland from 2009-2011. In 13 appearances this season, Bailey has allowed just two runs in 12 1/3 innings (1.46 ERA), while striking out 20 and recording five saves. But, as it always seems to be the case with the 28-year-old, the key is staying healthy. It’s a “wait and see” on that front.

Follow Metro Red Sox beat writer Ryan Hannable on Twitter @hannable84



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Local

De Blasio, Bratton defend city's efforts after Eric…

Mayor Bill de Blasio justified the city's response to the death of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who died while in police custody earlier this month.

National

PHOTO: New Zealand Heral uses wrong image to…

The New Zealand Herald made a terrible mistake of using the wrong image to illustrate the tragic death of Staff Sergeant Guy Boyland – a New Zealand-born Israeli soldier who…

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.