The Oakland A's are looking to take down the Texas Rangers and win the AL West this season, but on Monday afternoon they've been given quite the scare. Working against the Indians, closer Andrew Bailey had to depart after throwing a pitch and holding his elbow.
This is particularly worrisome because Bailey's 2010 season came to an early end when he had some loose bodies removed from that same elbow. It's possible he could have torn some scar tissue on Monday, but it's also possible he's done something much worse, and right now nobody is saying much. He did have Tommy John surgery in 2005. The A's have given official word that Bailey left with "elbow discomfort," but Bailey is not talking to the media as he awaits examination.
The hope is that Bailey will be just fine, but he may not be ready by Opening Day, and this could end up being something severe. For however long Bailey is out, Brian Fuentes will assume the closing duties, with support from several other capable relievers. Oakland does have a deep bullpen. But Bailey is its most talented member, so the A's will be wishing hard that everything turns out okay.
We'll keep you updated on the story. For more on Bailey and the A's, be sure to check out Athletics Nation.