OAKLAND -- A depleted A's bullpen will have to do without Andrew Bailey for the remainder of the year, as the club announced Thursday the closer will undergo season-ending surgery on Friday. The right-hander will undergo a cleanup operation on his sore right elbow administered by Dr. James Andrews, who orchestrated Bailey's Tommy John surgery in college. Bailey said by phone Thursday evening there are a "couple of extra bones floating around" -- symptoms that are not unusual for someone who has been through a Tommy John operation. The closer mentioned he's only looking at an expected recovery time of six weeks, which will allow him the chance to not only resume throwing sooner, but he can be out of rehab mode by his November wedding to fiance Amanda Scalzo, who will be "taking care of me the rest of the way." Following Friday's surgery in Florida, Bailey plans to start physical therapy in Connecticut.
The news is relatively positive for Bailey, who fortunately learned he has no ligament damage in his elbow. Still, his absence is nothing of the encouraging sort for an A's team that has dealt with a multitude of injuries this year. And, as Bailey noted, "surgery is surgery." "You never want to have to go through with it," he said. "But it is just a cleanup thing, so I guess it's a best-case scenario. I'm excited there's no structural damage, but I never thought there was because it didn't feel the same way as it did before." For Bailey, it marks his second time being sidelined, as he missed nearly a month while stationed on the disabled list with a right intercostal strain beginning in late July. The latest injury means the two-time All-Star will not have the chance to match or surpass his save total of 26 garnered in his rookie season last year. "It stinks," he admitted. "You never want to be hurt. I've been fighting a lot of different things this season, so hopefully this is the last of them. Hopefully, this is what I need to stay healthy for a full season." In 47 appearances this year, Bailey compiled a 1.47 ERA, currently good for second among American League relievers, along with 25 saves and a 0.96 WHIP. "He's had a great year," manager Bob Geren said. "We're obviously very proud of what he's done the past two years. He'll be missed the remainder of the season, obviously, but it sounds like good news as far as what he's looking at and what it could have been."