Sox get positive news on Bailey, Dice-K

Sox get positive news on Bailey, Dice-K

NEW YORK -- The Red Sox had multiple pieces of good news on the injury front on Saturday.

Righty Andrew Bailey, who has yet to throw a pitch for his new team, had his second successful batting practice session of the week and has been cleared to start a Minor League rehab assignment.

Bailey -- who underwent right thumb surgery the day before the regular season started -- is likely to pitch in a Gulf Coast League game on Monday in Fort Myers, Fla. He'll probably move up to an affiliate shortly thereafter.

"We're just going to go one at a time for right now," said Bailey. "I'm sure the process of getting back is throwing a back to back and that kind of stuff. A couple and then back to back and maybe one more and we'll be good to go. It just kind of depends on where the teams are and that kind of stuff."

Considering the way Alfredo Aceves has flourished in the closer's role, Bailey isn't preoccupied with what role he will pitch in when he returns.

"Yeah, I don't really care," said Bailey. "I just want to pitch. At this point, I've missed enough time to know that, 'Hey, he's done a [heck] of a job this year and the bullpen has been great all year,' so for me, I just want to find my role -- whatever that is -- and finish the year and get to the playoffs. That's what our goal is and I've said that from Day 1. Even in Oakland, I didn't care what I'm doing as long as I'm pitching good in the big leagues and we're winning. That's all I care about."

Meanwhile, starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, out since July 3 with a neck injury, will open his rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket on Monday.

"We have a plan for him to pitch in a rehab assignment starting in Pawtucket on Monday," said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. "That would be a pitch-limited session, but he's feeling good. Right now, he's throwing the ball -- the last session he had in the outfield and on the mound was his best session so far since Spring Training."