Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/14/14
BOSTON — With all the holes the Boston Red Sox had to fill entering this past offseason, closer probably wasn’t on top of the list for most fans. Although Andrew Bailey had endured a rough 2012 campaign, he never really got his feet under him after returning from surgery on his right thumb late last season. Nonetheless, when former Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan become available over the winter, the Red Sox jumped at the chance to acquire him, and how the Red Sox essentially boast two closers holding down the eighth and ninth innings. Of course, not all closers have fared well when losing that role, but Bailey looks primed for a big season in a setup role despite losing the only job he’s ever known in Major League Baseball. “I don’t really see too much trouble in that transition,” said Bailey after Monday’s 3-1 home-opener win over the Orioles. “You still have a job to do, you’re the closer of the eighth inning, or however you want to say it. But you’ve got to pick up the team, the only difference is you have someone behind you. You’ve still got to keep the score the same, and you still have to execute pitches.” In Bailey’s mind, there isn’t much difference between the eighth and ninth innings in terms of pressure. While some former closers talk about not being able to get as amped up as a setup man, that clearly won’t be a problem with Bailey. “It’s the same,” said Bailey. “You blow a game in the eighth, yeah, you have an extra AB, but you’re still on the hook. That’s what we talked about as a bullpen, keeping the score where it is, and that’s what we’re trying to do.” Keeping the score the same shouldn’t be much of a problem for the Red Sox, for the most part. Although the team lead the American League with 22 blown saves in 2012, the revamped unit has looked good so far this season. In six games heading into Monday, the unit had struck out 19 batters in 18 2/3 innings, allowing an opponents’ batting average of just .221. “I think we’ve got seven closers down there,” said Bailey. “Any one of us can finish a ballgame or pitch whatever inning, and that’s what makes us so good is having so much versatility down there. If you need guys to come in with runners on, whatever the situation is, you’ve got a [bullpen] full of them.” All in all, Bailey uses the phrase “have a job to do” often. It may be a cliched talking point, but it’s also the kind of focus Red Sox fans will be happy to see from their new setup man. While Bailey has admitted he might prefer closing games, he isn’t deluding himself into thinking his new role is any easier, and he seems mentally prepared to be a part of a bullpen culture shift from last season.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Corey Brewer: We got our butt kicked, it was embarrassing

Brian Kelly hints Notre Dame will have fast offense

John Madden: Last play of Super Bowl will 'torment' Pete Carroll

Cristiano Ronaldo nets hat trick, sets career high for goals

WATCH: Cormier tells Jones to get his s-- together

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Fans holding 'Free Tom Brady Rally' at Gillette Stadium

Josh Hamilton to be activated by Rangers

WATCH: Top CB recruit makes insane catch doing backflip

Biggest surprises of the MLB season

Marcus Mariota leads NFL in jersey sales for May

Report: Scott Skiles frontrunner for Magic coaching job

Seahawks fan starts GoFundMe for Russell Wilson's contract

Billy Donovan thanks Florida fans with full-page ad

WATCH: Daniel Cormier gets into it with Ryan Bader

Jim Harbaugh compares his driving to Jeff Gordon's

WATCH: High school seals win with perfect hidden ball trick

Warriors crush Rockets in Houston to take 3-0 series lead

WATCH: D'Angelo Russell whiffs on horrible golf swing

Brian Matusz ejected for having foreign substance on arm

PHOTO: Don Cherry wears wild suit even for his taste

PHOTOS: Gigantic sinkhole at Jack Nicklaus golf course

WATCH: Memphis player catches defense sleeping, scores

WATCH: Astros turn around-the-horn triple play

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Kelly drops hint about ND offense

John Madden: Last SB play will 'torment' Carroll

Eight biggest surprises of the MLB season

Bryan Price ejected before first pitch

Vin Scully narrates marriage proposal

Pats fan's obituary defends Brady

Marlins players skip own charity event

John Wall tells All-NBA Team voters to ‘keep sleeping’

Jim Kelly: No doubt Tom Brady cheated

Post-combine NBA Draft big board: Top 30

Ex-players sue NFL for conspiring to push painkillers

Astros surprising, but can get better with Correa

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.