ST. PETERSBURG -- Look for Andrew Bailey to be back in the Boston bullpen on Monday night, when the Red Sox open a three-game series in Chicago against the White Sox.
The closer threw a 15-pitch simulated game at Tropicana Field on Thursday. The final step before activation is a one-game Minor League stint for Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday.
"I felt good. I threw all my pitches," Bailey said. "The next step is to pitch Saturday in Pawtucket and then be back. Everything feels good. It's a baseball thing, just getting acclimated again. Everything feels great."
The Red Sox bullpen looks much better with Bailey pitching the ninth inning, particularly when you consider Joel Hanrahan is out for the rest of the season.
"Watching him out there today, he threw the ball very well," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "Not only in terms of power with his fastball, but action to his secondary stuff. He warmed up without any issue. He came out of it feeling well."
Was there any consideration to activating Bailey without a rehab stint?
"I mean when you see the ball come out of his hand, sure, you think about that," said Farrell. "But the fact is, he's 19 days from his last game. He's a guy that pitches with a lot of adrenaline in that role and I think the next progressive step will be in a game situation against a different uniform and all the other things that we can't produce in a sim game situation, so that's where Saturday takes him."
Bailey was sidelined with a strained right biceps. His last appearance for the Red Sox was on April 28.