Originally posted on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 4/3/12

ESPN is reporting that Boston Red Sox closer Andrew Bailey has a thumb injury that may require surgery after a second opinion. The exact injury hasn't been revealed, but we do know that it occured on Bailey's right (throwing) hand.

Bailey will likely be out a substantial period of time after the surgery, and Boston would need to replace him at closer. Bailey was brought in this offseason from the A's to replace Jonathan Papelbon, who signed a four year contract with the Phillies this winter.

To replace Bailey as closer, Boston has a few options. Mark Melancon, acquired from the Astros this winter for Jed Lowrie and Kyle Wieland, served as Houston's closer last year, saving 20 games with a 2.78 ERA and 66 strikeouts in 74 1/3 innings. The 27 year-old isn't a sexy option, but he might be the best one that the Red Sox have.

Another choice the Red Sox have involves Daniel Bard, who was switched from the bullpen to the rotation this spring. If Boston wants to put him back in the bullpen, where many believe he fits best, it would create a hole in the rotation, but it would also fill the closer's role with a guy who has been a dominant reliever for the Sox over the last two years. In 147 2/3 innings over the last two seasons in relief, Bard has 150 strikeouts and a 2.62 ERA while compiling 3.1 fWAR. He's a much sexier option than Melancon, who throws much less hard than Bard (97 mph fastball for Bard compared to 92 for Melancon), and he is also familiar with a relief role with the Red Sox.

The other option being thrown around for Boston involves long man Alfredo Aceves, who lost out on a rotation spot to Bard and prospect Felix Doubront. Aceves was mentioned as a possible closer, which I don't think would end very well due to his 92 mph fastball and his low strikeout rate of 6.32 last year. A much more palatable option for the Red Sox would be to move Bard back to the bullpen (and consequently, the closer's role), and to let Aceves take Bard's spot in the rotation. The biggest downside of doing that is that Boston would essentially be punting on their entire spring of work trying to get Bard accustomed to starting every fifth day, and that when Bailey would come back, the Sox would need to determine whether or not to keep Bard in the bullpen or to move him back to the rotation...and to possibly have to start the entire conversion process all over again.

Whatever the Red Sox wind up doing with their closer's role, Bailey's injury is a very tough break for the team. They brought him in to replace a franchise pillar in Papelbon, and it's looking like he's not even going to be on the Opening Day roster. Sometimes, even the best laid plans can fall apart.

[follow]

This article first appeared on The Outside Corner and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Five teams that may be interested in Blake Griffin this summer

Nigel Hayes slams New York ahead of Sweet 16 game at MSG

Report: Tony Romo ‘believes it’s Texans or retirement’

Clay Matthews Sr. passes away at 88

WWE’s Kane is inching toward running for mayor in Tennessee

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jung Ho Kang denied visa for DUI, may miss 2017 MLB season

Jets not ready to say Josh McCown will be starter

Sens owner on Sidney Crosby: He’s 'a whiner' and should be suspended for Methot slash

Report: Griffin could be growing more open to leaving Clippers

Brandon Brooks accepts wedding invite from Eagles fan

Report: Josh Gordon expected to get reinstatement update in May

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Box Score 3/24: Waiting on West Virginia

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

With Team USA's victory, World Baseball Classic (finally) lived up to its potential

The NFL distraction playbook

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

Box Score 3/23: Team USA wins their first WBC title

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

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

The NFL distraction playbook

With Team USA's victory the WBC (finally) lived up to its potential

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker