The Angels have agreed to sign reliever Andrew Bailey to a minor league contract. The Phillies released the 32-year-old righty on August 6th, and it looks like Billy Eppler decided to give him an opportunity to pitch in an Angels uniform.
Born in New Jersey in 1984, Bailey went to Wagner College in Staten Island, New York. In 2006, the Oakland Athletics drafted him in the 6th round, which turned out to be a fantastic late-round pick for the team. He made his major league debut on April 6th, 2009 against the Angels. After dominating in his debut, he went 6-3 with 26 saves and a 1.84 ERA, which earned him the 2009 AL Rookie of the Year award. In addition, he was voted an All-Star in 2009 and 2010.
Things began to fall apart once the Athletics traded Bailey to the Red Sox. At the beginning of the 2012 season, he figured out that he needed thumb surgery, which put him on the DL for most of the year. When he came back from injury, he finished 2012 with a 7.04 ERA and a .380 BABIP, which is not good. However, he performed well in 2013 with 12.24 strikeouts per nine innings and a 3.77 ERA, but his season ended abruptly with shoulder surgery in July.
Ever since getting surgery on his throwing shoulder, Bailey cannot find his groove that he had in his rookie season. The New York Yankees signed him to a minor league deal in 2014. Due to his shoulder issues, he didn’t pitch a single game. The Bronx Bombers finally got him to pitch in September of 2015, but it was rough. He finished the season with a 5.19 ERA and 5.19 walks per nine innings.
Looking at this season, the Phillies gave Bailey a chance and he threw it away. He had a 6.40 ERA in 33 games for Philadelphia, so maybe going to a new team is what he needed. In his first game for Salt Lake City, he pitched one inning and struck out two batters.
Overall Consensus of the Pickup: Bailey is a very injury-prone reliever who has not been able to find stellar form since the Oakland days. He will probably get called up in September to add some depth to the worn-out bullpen. He has the potential to strikeout batters and be a fine 7th/8th inning reliever for the Angels.