While it may not show up as an official save in the stats column dont tell Andrew Bailey that. Bailey was brought to Boston 2 years ago and was expected to be the teams closer, with the acquisition of Joel Hanrahan this offseason Bailey has switched to the role of set up man. After the home opener on Monday, where Bailey pitched a perfect 8th inning, Bailey said “I don’t really see too much trouble in that transition, 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.”
I love this attitude from Bailey, he realizes that every pitcher that comes out of the bullpen is a closer, they might not be the closer of the game but they are the closer of either a few batters or even a few innings. When Bailey is on the mound he reminds me of Papelbon, he is so intense and focused on the task that it is intimidating. If Bailey developed a stare down of other batters like Papelbon has he could be the most intimidating 8th inning set up man in baseball. As long as Bailey remains happy being the teams set up man this bullpen will remain fantastic.
Do you agree with the acquisition of Joel Hanrahan, and the delegation of Bailey to set up man? Do you think Bailey will be happy in this role all season or will he challenge management and try to win the role of closer. Comment below to share your opinions.