Boston Red Sox Closer Bailey Needs Thumb Surgery, Globe Reports

Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Andrew Bailey has been told he needs thumb surgery, according to the Boston Globe.

Bailey, the closer who is slated to replace Jonathan Papelbon as the Red Sox’s closer, will get a second opinion from hand specialist Robert Graham at the Cleveland Clinic and may have an operation today, the newspaper reported, citing unidentified people in Major League Baseball.

The 27-year-old Bailey pitched for the Oakland Athletics last season before joining Boston in a December trade. He strained his forearm a year ago during spring training and was out until May 29. An All-Star the previous two seasons, Bailey had 24 saves and a 3.24 earned run average in 2011.

Bailey’s spot in the bullpen may be filled by Mark Melancon, who had 20 saves for the Houston Astros last season, and Alfredo Aceves, who has four career saves.

Joining Bailey in the visit to the Cleveland doctor’s office will be Red Sox starter Josh Beckett, Fox Sports reported, citing unidentified people in the major leagues.

Beckett, who also has a thumb injury, is scheduled to start Boston’s second game of the season on April 7, though the team wants him to get a second opinion on his injury for “peace of mind,” the people told Fox Sports. Beckett was in San Antonio yesterday to have the thumb examined, and the exact nature of the injury hasn’t been disclosed.

The 31-year-old Beckett is a three-time All-Star. He went 13-7 with a 2.89 ERA last season and didn’t miss a start this spring.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mason Levinson in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at

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