Geren touts Bailey for Rookie of Year
A's skipper thinks voters should take close look at closer
OAKLAND -- Not long after his closer was named the American League's Rookie of the Month for August, A's manager Bob Geren on Thursday said right-hander Andrew Bailey should be getting a more prestigious piece of hardware after the season.
"Hopefully this leads to Rookie of the Year," Geren said before the opener of a four-game series against the Mariners at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
Conceding that Bailey is at a disadvantage among voters who value the daily contributions of position players over the lighter workloads of pitchers, Geren nonetheless suggested that Oakland's only 2009 All-Star deserves more than cursory consideration.
"It's hard to compare apples to oranges," Geren said. "If there was a Rookie Pitcher of the Year [Award], obviously he'd be the winner of that."
Bailey's gaudy August numbers -- 2-0 with an 0.00 ERA, seven saves in seven chances and 11 innings of four-hit work over 11 appearances -- support pitching coach Curt Young's theory that Bailey, a starting pitcher at Double-A Midland for the first half of last season, is the type of pitcher who gets stronger as the season rolls on.
"He's got that big, strong body," Young said of Bailey, a non-roster invitee to Spring Training who's listed at 6-foot-3 and 234 pounds. "And he's been conditioned to throw a lot of pitches."
Bailey, who posted an 0.92 ERA as a reliever at Midland after being moved into the bullpen, threw 110 innings last season. Through Wednesday, he had thrown 72 innings this year despite frequently being used for more than three outs, and he led AL rookies in strikeouts (76) and ranked second in games pitched (57).
With 21 saves through Wednesday, Bailey was two shy of Oakland's rookie record. Huston Street saved 23 games on the way to being named the 2005 AL Rookie of the Year. Bailey converted his 16th consecutive save opportunity Monday against the Royals.
"He's got my vote," Geren said.
Geren, by the way, does not have a vote. That's up to members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
Mychael Urban is a national writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.