With Andrew Bailey back with the team, the A’s have to decide whether or not to have Bailey jump into the closer’s role. The A’s have managed pretty well without Bailey for the first two months, with Grant Balfour and Brian Fuentes closing out games, but Bailey is Oakland’s All-Star closer.
The young two-time AL All-Star closer, according to SF Chronicle writer, Susan Slusser, will likely get his job rather quickly so long as he puts together a few good outings first. The A’s reinstated Bailey, who had been sidelined since March, and sent Bobby Cramer back down to Triple-A Sacramento.
One does have to figure, however, that the A’s bullpen should be in better shape with Bailey back from injury. Slusser also points out that Bailey will probably not pitch in back-to-back games for a while, but the A’s have plenty of options when Bailey is not available.
A lot of people liked Oakland’s starting rotation heading into the season, but they were also very quick to point out Oakland’s incredible bullpen depth. Having guys like Bailey, Balfour, and Fuentes in the bullpen is an advantage for Oakland. Billy Beane has his skeptics, but there’s no denying that the A’s made the right choice this offseason in adding some depth in the form of relief pitchers. Adding Balfour and Fuentes were smart moves for the small-market A’s.
Could you imagine what the A’s bullpen would look like without them?