Wednesday, December 11, 2013
By Kevin Thomas firstname.lastname@example.org
BOSTON - The facts about Andrew Bailey slowly flowed from John Farrell's lips during his daily pregame chat with the media Friday.
"He's been placed on the disabled list with a shoulder injury."
"There's some damage."
"To the labrum ... it's fairly significant."
"It's a definite option."
Farrell was not being evasive, but it seemed every word pained him. Another reliever down, almost certainly for the season.
"We've had a tough 10 days in our bullpen," Farrell said, referring to Andrew Miller's previous foot injury.
Later in the news conference -- or was it a medical briefing? -- Farrell explained that reliever Andrew Miller underwent ligament surgery on his foot. It was hoped that Miller might be back before the end of the season, but Farrell dismissed that notion.
"We're looking at spring training," he said.
Think about what Boston's bullpen might have looked like, with set-up men Bailey, Miller and Daniel Bard and closer Joel Hanrahan. Hanrahan is also lost for the season after Tommy John surgery, and Bard is in Fort Myers, Fla., trying to rediscover his form
And we haven't even talked about starter Clay Buchholz, whose extended stay on the disabled list is growing more mysterious and worrisome.
"Pitching is a game of attrition," Farrell said.
Those poor Red Sox. They keep limping along ... and still in first place in the American League East.
"We still feel really good with what we have here," Red Sox General Manager Ben Cherington said.
With pitchers dropping off the roster and the trade deadline coming up, the logical move for Cherington would be to start making deals to bolster the bullpen.
"I'm not sure this team needs major change," he said. "The team is playing well. They've shown resilience, and I think they'll continue to do that."
Asked about Buchholz prior to Friday's game against the Yankees, Cherington responded, "We're 20-14 since his last start.
"It goes back to the point that there are a lot of good things happening with the team. We've proved that we can win without any one particular guy. Obviously we would like (Buchholz) out there ... if for some reason that doesn't happen, we'll just have to adjust.
"We have a number of guys we believe in. This creates opportunity and maybe their time comes a little sooner than we thought."
Brandon Workman and Drake Britton, both of whom began the season in Portland, are now in Boston. Britton is in the bullpen, at least for now. Workman may help in relief, but he is also tentatively slated to start Tuesday against the Rays.
"We're going to get a look at some young guys," Farrell said.
Cherington has also summoned Pedro Beato and Jose De La Torre from Pawtucket, and he traded for lefty Matt Thornton. Alex Wilson, on the disabled list, began throwing Friday.
Two minor moves were made Friday as Cherington went fishing -- signing veterans Brandon Lyon, 33, and Jose Contreras, 41, to minor-league contracts.
"Felt it made sense to get (Lyon), and we saw some good signs (from Contreras). Decided it was worth a shot," Cherington said. "Both will be in Pawtucket for a while."
Other options in Pawtucket include 40-man roster pitchers Allen Webster, Rubby De La Rosa and Steven Wright (who could get the start Tuesday if Workman is needed in the pen).
But there are other relievers who, like Workman and Britton, began their season in Portland. Chris Martin and Brock Huntzinger are not on the 40-man roster, but they are producing in Pawtucket.
Martin, the first pitcher promoted this season from the Sea Dogs to Triple-A, has a 2.93 ERA in 19 games (302/3 innings). He has 29 strikeouts and six walks.
Huntzinger has a 2.29 ERA in 12 games (192/3 innings) with 21 strikeouts and nine walks.
"There are still guys down there that we are very comfortable calling up -- guys on the (40-man) roster, guys not on the roster," Cherington said. "If things go as they usually go, we'll see more of those guys before the year is over."
Sea Dogs starter Anthony Ranaudo (2.87 ERA) is a possibility for a spot start later in the year.
Boston would love to promote from within. But if the right deal comes along
"Some new guys will get a chance," Cherington said. "At the same time, we'll continue to work the phones and see if we can help the team from outside the organization."
Either way, Cherington and his players are confident. Even Bailey sounded upbeat amid his personal frustration.
"These guys will be all right," Bailey said."It's been the story all year, picking each other up."
Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or: