Rookie of month Bailey might land bigger honor

Andrew Bailey was named the American League Rookie of the Month for August on Thursday.

Now attention turns to whether the A's closer lands a much bigger award.

Bailey is considered a front-runner in the American League Rookie of the Year chase, and manager Bob Geren didn't hold back his thoughts on Bailey's candidacy.

"Hopefully (Rookie of the Month) will lead on to Rookie of the Year. He's had that kind of year," Geren said. "... I see him more than anyone, so he's got my vote."

Bailey's likely competition includes Baltimore Orioles outfielder Nolan Reimold, Chicago White Sox third baseman Gordon Beckham, Texas Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus and Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jeff Niemann.

Geren pointed out that voters have a challenge in determining the worthiness of pitchers versus everyday players.

The Rookie of the Year awards — like the MVP, Cy Young and Manager of the Year awards — are voted on by the Baseball Writers Association of America. And working in Bailey's favor is his selection to the All-Star team, which gave him some national visibility.

A recent New York Times story that broke down the ROY races listed Bailey as the AL favorite.

Bailey led rookies in both leagues with 21 saves before Thursday to go with a 1.88 ERA. That left him two saves shy of Huston Street's Oakland rookie record of 23 set in 2005. That season, Street became the A's sixth Rookie of the Year since 1986.

Bailey has been on a particular roll of late, converting 16 straight saves entering Thursday.

"You can't think about that stuff," Bailey said of Rookie of the Year talk. "Obviously if it happens, it's a great honor. It would be a dream season, I guess, if that happens. But it's not in the forefront of my mind."

  • Ryan Sweeney batted third for the A's for the second straight game and Kurt Suzuki dropped to fifth, as Geren looks for a hitter to produce consistently in the No. 3 slot. Oakland's No. 3 hitters have combined for a major league-low .216 average. Since 1974, the lowest average for a team's No. 3 hitters has been .217 by the 1976 Montreal Expos.

  • Geren has reworked the rotation with two days off next week. Brett Tomko will pitch on standard four days' rest, Trevor Cahill and Vin Mazzaro get six days' rest between starts and Brett Anderson and Gio Gonzalez get eight days' rest.

    Tomko and Cahill will start two games in Chicago against the White Sox; Mazzaro, Edgar Gonzalez and Tomko take the ball in Minnesota; and Anderson, Gio Gonzalez and Cahill pitch in Texas.

    Mazzaro's status could be iffy, as he's being skipped tonight with right shoulder tendinitis.

  • First baseman Chris Carter, who enjoyed a huge season for Double-A Midland, was named the Texas League's Player of the Year. Midland manager Darren Bush was named Manager of the Year.

    — Joe Stiglich