Bailey's return drawing nearer

Bailey's return drawing nearer

SEATTLE -- Andrew Bailey is looking a bit more cheerful these days, and for good reason.

The A's closer threw from a distance of 120 feet on Wednesday morning and proceeded to walk back into the clubhouse with his arms up in the air and a smile attached to his face.

"It went really well," Bailey said, even before being asked. "[It] felt really good."

The A's have an off-day in Minnesota on Thursday, so the righty said he'll likely just play light catch, if anything, before moving to a distance of 140 feet on Friday. If all continues to go well, Bailey could soon be seeing rehab action off the mound soon.

"It's still a day-to-day thing with him," manager Bob Geren said. "Everything depends on how he feels every day, and right now there's no exact date for when he'll throw off the mound. We're flexible with him."

Bailey, sidelined since July 20, has watched Craig Breslow and Michael Wuertz lead bullpen duties in his stead. Breslow has allowed three earned runs through four innings of work in the month of August following a July that saw him compile a 2.84 ERA over 12 appearances. However, Geren said Wednesday he isn't too worried about his lefty, who is tied for second in the American League for most appearances (54).

Wuertz, meanwhile, has not allowed an earned run in 16 of his past 18 appearances, posting a 1.88 ERA along the way.