Words that you never want to hear if you are a pitcher: “We are going to send you to Alabama to see Dr. James Andrews.”

Those are the words that Oakland A’s pitcher Andrew Bailey heard this morning. The odds have already been set to 3-1 that we will next see Bailey in August of 2011.

The A’s did the smart thing this morning and shut down Bailey for the final two weeks of the season because of elbow soreness.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Bailey believes this is just a case of tennis elbow. If that is the case, I would be shocked.

Due to various injuries and despite having a lower ERA this year than he did last (1.47 to 1.84), all of his peripherals were down from his Rookie of the Year season. His K/9 dropped from 9.8 to 7.7, and his ground-ball percentage dropped from 42 percent to 39 percent.

I think the drop in peripherals has more to do with his rib cage injury and his tennis elbow that he has been dealing with all year. We’ll see how his visit with Dr. James Andrews turns out.

If Bailey beats the odds and finds out there is nothing wrong with him, then I expect him to be once again one of the better closers in baseball in 2011.

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