By: Chris Dommermuth
It has been confirmed that Red Sox closer Andrew Bailey will have surgery on his right thumb Wednesday to repair the ulnar collateral ligament. The Red Sox have no made a statement on when Bailey’s timetable is for return, but manager Bobby Valentine said he was told to not expect Bailey back before the All Star Break. Bailey was placed on the 60-day DL.
Bailey was acquired last off season in a trade with the Oakland Athletics to replace former closer Jonathan Papelbon, who signed with the Phillies as a free agent. Bailey converted 24 of 26 save opportunities with a 3.24 ERA for the A’s in 2011.
Alfredo Aceves has been chosen to replace Bailey as the closer. Aceves was competing this Spring for a job in the rotation, but impressed Valentine enough to be given the opportunity to close games.
“(Aceves) loves competition. I think he’s one of the better competitors that I’ve seen. I could be wrong. I haven’t seen him up close and personal in battle, but I believe that he’s a very good competitor, to say nothing of a very good pitcher.” -Bobby Valentine
Aceves went 10-2 last season with a 2.62 ERA in 114 innings.