ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Red Sox lost closer Joel Hanrahan for the season because of an arm injury. But their other closer, Andrew Bailey, should be back on the roster within a week.
Bailey threw 25 pitches in the bullpen Tuesday before the Sox played the Tampa Bay Rays and felt fine. He has been on the disabled list since April 29 with a biceps strain.
Manager John Farrell, pitching coach Juan Nieves, and head athletic trainer Rick Jameyson monitored the session.
“I mixed in curveballs, cutters, changeups, couple of everything. Moving in the right direction,” Bailey said. “I felt good the last few days.”
Bailey will pitch in a simulated game Thursday afternoon. The Sox will decide then whether he will go on a brief minor league rehabilitation assignment before being activated.
Bailey would prefer to skip a minor league assignment.
“Definitely,” he said. “That’s up for consideration. Obviously as a player you want to be out there. The medical staff and John and his staff make that decision. I feel good.”
Bailey can see the value in a tune-up appearance, however.
“You don’t want to go out there with the game on the line and not be sharp because you’re coming off an injury and you end up costing the team a game,” he said. “Being baseball sharp is just as important as being healthy.”
Farrell seems to be leaning to a rehab assignment of at least one game.
“It’s to get additional adrenaline into some kind of game activity,” manager he said. “It’s going to be somewhat sterile here at 2:30 in the afternoon on Thursday. To take it for a test run, I think, would be helpful.”
Bailey said that in retrospect, he did the right thing by going on the disabled list.
“I was like ‘Let’s be smart about this’ and I said something. I think we cut it off before it became a major issue,” he said. “It was kind of weird. I threw one pitch in the pen and I felt a pull all the way up, all the way up into the shoulder where everything connects.”
With Hanrahan lost, getting Bailey back would add some much-needed depth to the bullpen. He had a 1.46 earned run average over 13 appearances before the injury.
“I’ve said a number of times, they brought me over here to do a job last year. I’ve missed a hell of a lot of time,” Bailey said.
Outfielder Shane Victorino, who ran into a wall in right field at Fenway Park on Sunday, sent a text message of support to Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, who went facefirst into a wall at Dodger Stadium on Monday night.
Harper left the game and needed 11 stitches. Victorino stayed in the game for three more innings. X-rays on his ribs were negative.
“I feel good physically and ready to go,” said Victorino, who went 0 for 4 in Tuesday night’s 5-3 loss to the Rays.
Victorino said it’s a fine line between playing hard and playing reckless.
“You can’t run into walls for the sake of running into a wall,” he said. “You have to feel like you can make a play. I thought I was pretty close.”
Right field at Fenway is sometimes difficult because of the chest-high walls, Victorino said.
“When you go back and look up, you can usually see a wall and prepare yourself,” he said. “Your peripheral vision doesn’t really see the wall when it’s that short. And the wall comes up on you fast at the bullpen.”
Farrell was thankful that Victorino came away without an injury.
“The way he bounced off, it looked ugly at the time,” the manager said. “Every image, every test that we put him through, he’s 100 percent.”
Felix Doubront threw in the bullpen before the game and will start Thursday against Alex Cobb. The lefthander has been hit hard in his last two outings, giving up 12 earned runs on 23 hits over nine innings.
The Sox had Doubront skip a start to give him some time to work on his mechanics. Farrell said Doubront has “direction issues” in his delivery.
“We felt like there are times when he starts going to home plate, he can be a little bit off line,” Farrell said. “That’s affected, I think, some of the overall consistency with location to his stuff.”
Farrell explained it’s a footwork issue. The Sox are correcting how Doubront drives toward home plate off the rubber. The idea is to keep him from throwing across his body. In two-strike counts, Doubront has been unable to generate extra action or velocity on his pitches, often leaving the ball up when he tries.
Catcher David Ross, who went on the seven-day concussion disabled list Sunday, remained in Boston recovering. He hopes to join the team in Minnesota Friday. Ross was concussed when he was struck with two foul tips Saturday. “There’s no template on these when the symptoms start to regress,” Farrell said. “[Sunday] was a tougher day for him with some of those symptoms. We’ve got to work off of him on this.” . . . Major League Baseball changed a scoring call from Saturday’s game against the Blue Jays and awarded Dustin Pedroia a single and an RBI in the eighth inning. The play was originally ruled an error for Toronto shortstop Munenori Kawasaki . . . Ever-creative Rays manager Joe Maddon invited a four-piece Latin band, Sol Caribe, to play in the clubhouse before the game. He also had plantains hung in the lockers.