Andrew Bailey (AP Images)
If you took "opening day" in the Andrew Bailey-hits-the-DL pool, then it looks like you're a winner. If instead you own Bailey in a fantasy league, then today you're scrambling for saves.
Bailey is reportedly seeking a second opinion on his right thumb injury, because the first opinion was, "That thing needs surgery." Brutal news. We don't yet have a clear rehab/recovery timeline, but, assuming surgery is needed, you're not going to like his ETA when you hear it.
In Bailey's absence, the prime candidates to handle the ninth are Mark Melancon, who saved 20 games for the Astros last season, and Alfredo Aceves, who had a pair of multi-inning saves for the Red Sox in 2011. Melancon's name was the first one I searched for across my fantasy portfolio, as he'd always seemed like the best Bailey handcuff. Yet according to the Boston Globe, "Aceves was told by [manager Bobby] Valentine to be prepared to pitch in the eighth or ninth inning."
Just in case you were wondering, Bailey has no idea how he suffered his latest injury. It presumably happened in a minor league appearance in late-March, but no one seems certain. He first noticed discomfort in the thumb — and this is not a joke — while squeezing a shampoo bottle. We fearfully await further details.
Update: Additional details are rolling in, and they aren't great. Bailey will have surgery on Wednesday to reconstruct the UCL in his right thumb, an injury that will cost him months, not merely a few weeks. So the bad news gets worse.
After the jump, you'll find a full sweep of every MLB team's current closing situation, with blurbs wherever blurbs are needed. I'm breaking the bullpens into tiers, sorting by relative danger/volatility. The closing situations that have the least clarity are at the top; the most reliable 'pens are at the end. If a player's name is italicized, that means he's dealing with an injury.
Got it? Great. Let's go ...
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