I'll update this post with any news that breaks throughout the day.
Update 2: He's...okay? Jane Lee tweets, "Andrew Bailey diagnosed with strained right forearm." She continues, quoting Dr. James Andrews, "Bailey 'experienced no swelling and can resume throwing when asymptomatic.'"
For those who don't know, Andrew Bailey was making his second Spring Training appearance against the Indians yesterday when he jumped up after throwing a pitch, clutching his right elbow and doubling over in pain. Recall that this was the same elbow he had "clean up" surgery on almost six months ago to remove bone chips. We don't yet know how serious this injury is, but bear with me for a few minutes and let's assume the worst.
What if Andrew Bailey is out for the year?
Thankfully, due to the acquisitions of Brian Fuentes and Grant Balfour, the Oakland bullpen is one of the deepest in the league. Losing a player of Bailey's caliber is never easy, but Oakland may actually be relatively alright. Assuming a twelve-man pitching staff, we're looking at five starters and seven relievers to fill the roster. One of these relievers will most likely be a long reliever, who is almost assuredly going to be the runner-up in the fifth starter competition. Of the six relievers remaining, Brian Fuentes, Grant Balfour, Craig Breslow, and Michael Wuertz have roster spots locked down. The candidates to fill those two spots left? Brad Ziegler, Jerry Blevins, and Joey Devine.
Ziegler and Blevins played fairly hefty roles in 2010's bullpen, and while they weren't great, they were serviceable, with the potential for a bit more. And when you're looking at the back end of your bullpen, "serviceable" is perfectly okay. Joey Devine, on the other hand, is supremely talented, but is coming off of Tommy John surgery. He's posted atrocious numbers this spring, walking eight batters in 4.1 innings. Obviously, his control is off, and he'll most likely need some time in AAA Sacramento to iron out the kinks, but he could be a gem in waiting.
Feel free to use the comment space to discuss other options, ramifications, and news as it breaks.