By Matt Snyder
Injured A's closer Andrew Bailey took a big step forward in his rehab from a forearm injury Sunday. He threw in an extended spring training game Saturday and reports indicate he looked great. He threw his full arsenal of pitches and his fastball worked up into the mid-90s. (SFGate.com)
Bailey is going to be re-evaluated by team doctors in Oakland before the next step is officially determined, but there's every indication he'll head out on a minor-league rehab assignment. Look for Bailey to have several outings before being activated from the disabled list, but there wouldn't be a rehab assignment for a closer that lasts more than a few weeks without setbacks. Thus, it's a good bet to see Bailey on the A's before the end of May.
The A's already have one of the best top-to-bottom pitching staffs in the majors, and adding Bailey only makes it stronger. In two seasons, Bailey has recorded 51 saves with a 1.70 ERA, 0.91 WHIP and 133 strikeouts in 132 1/3 innings. He's made the All-Star Game in each of his two big-league seasons and won the Rookie of the Year award in 2009.
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