Closer Bailey throws, is still feeling discomfort
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Closer Andrew Bailey, still out with a forearm strain, threw a 25-pitch simulated game Tuesday afternoon at Rangers Ballpark.
Does that mean he's close to a minor league rehab assignment, the final step before coming off the disabled list? Perhaps.
Everything is written in pencil regarding Bailey, who has been sidelined since March 14. He hinted that he'd likely throw one more simulated game before starting a rehab assignment but said he still feels discomfort in the "elbow area" when he pitches, part of the reason his return has been delayed.
The team lists his injury as a forearm strain, but the problem essentially rests in his twice-operated-on elbow.
"I do feel I'm getting there," Bailey said. "I'm not totally ready to go 100 percent. I don't know how to describe (the pain). It's not pulling or doing anything violent. It's just there."
Tuesday marked just the second time he's thrown breaking balls from the mound, and Bailey said his curve and cutter were sharper than last time.
"I think why it's taking longer than we originally planned is we want to make sure (the pain) is totally gone, so we don't have to battle this all year long," he said.
The A's didn't have an update on starter Dallas Braden, who received second and third opinions on his injured left shoulder Monday and Tuesday.
Rodriguez remembers a July game against the Mariners being halted and players being cleared from the field as a plane flew by to film overhead shots.
Rodriguez was pitching in relief, and the break in action didn't help him when he returned to the mound.
"I did my warmup pitches and the first hitter, Ken Phelps, hit a home run," Rodriguez said. "I was like 'Ahh, that movie!' "
Sweeney entered 8 for 13 over his past four games and singled in his first two at-bats.
-- JOE STIGLICH