It’s a common theme every year for the Oakland Athletics, “if we weren’t ravaged with injuries, we could have won the AL West.” There are always could of’s, would of’s, if’s, etc. Why some teams have more injuries than others could be pure coincidence. But it feels less and less that way for the A’s, who lost their All-Star closer, Andrew Bailey, yesterday to an arm injury.
We do not yet know the extent of Bailey’s injury, but we could today. If Andrew Bailey is out for any extended period of time (and he probably will be), then enter the A’s new closer and offseason addition, Brian Fuentes. And, if you are worried about his ability to save games, just keep this number in mind – 48. That’s how many games Fuentes saves for the Angels in 2009. Not bad.
While I am REALLY glad Billy Beane added depth to both the bullpen and the lineup, adding insurance for these kinds of injuries, the bigger questions remain – are players being rushed back too quickly from injuries? Are the A’s not doing their homework or taking risks on injury-proned players? Or, is it just plain luck (or unluck)?
Now we wait for the results of Bailey’s appointment today and we cross our fingers that Andrew Bailey can pitch again this season (and career for that matter).