Bailey not holding anything back in bid to win bullpen spot

Right-hander throws scoreless inning of relief vs. Astros on Saturday

Bailey not holding anything back in bid to win bullpen spot

TAMPA, Fla. -- There are three small scars near Andrew Bailey's right shoulder, permanent reminders of the major procedure that threatened to end his career. But since the discomfort has disappeared, the Yankees right-hander sees no reason to hold anything back.

"I've got nothing to lose," Bailey said. "I'm out there competing, throwing the ball as hard as I can, and see what happens. To me, having a surgery like I had, a lot of guys don't come back from it. For me, it's letting it go and trusting the stuff and trusting the rehab and the time put in."

Bailey made his second appearance of the spring on Saturday, firing a scoreless seventh inning with two strikeouts in the Yankees' 3-2 Grapefruit League victory over the Astros. The former All-Star closer has not pitched in the Majors since 2013, when he was diagnosed with labrum and capsule damage in his pitching shoulder.

"It's definitely fun to get back on a hill and follow up my first outing with another healthy second one," Bailey said. "That's most important for me, and just take the ball whenever they want."

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that Bailey has looked "pretty good," coming off his one inning of work on Wednesday against the Braves, but the team is still not sure when he will be ready to pitch on consecutive days.

Because of that, as well as the Yanks' stocked bullpen, Bailey could begin the season in the Minors. In the meantime, Bailey said that he has been working with pitching coach Larry Rothschild on the mechanics of his cutter, which he said improved on Saturday. Bailey was also pleased with how his fastball and curveball felt against the Astros.

"I like to get out there and let it go," Bailey said. "Today I just hit my spots a lot more, executed better and was able to get that cutter where I wanted to this time around. Last time I was kind of middle with it. I had some better movement on it and I look forward to the next time."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.