Bailey ready to rejoin Angels' bullpen mix

Righty has missed four months with shoulder trouble

Bailey ready to rejoin Angels' bullpen mix

SEATTLE -- After missing four months with shoulder trouble, Angels right-hander Andrew Bailey is on the verge of returning to the Majors.

The 33-year-old veteran joined the Angels in Seattle on Friday and could be activated off the 60-day disabled list on Saturday, according to manager Mike Scioscia.

"I feel good," said Bailey, who has been sidelined since April 10 with right shoulder inflammation. "It's obviously been a long year for me, ups and downs physically, but you work your way back, and I'll just try to fit in where I can. These guys have been throwing the ball really well, and the team has been playing really good. I've been watching them. I'm just excited to be here [and] be a part of it."

Bailey made only three appearances for the Angels this season before landing on the disabled list and then suffered a few setbacks over the course of his rehab. He began pitching in Minor League games last month, but he allowed four runs over four innings in his first four outings, prompting the Angels to recall him from his rehab assignment on July 28 to be evaluated. Bailey resumed pitching with Triple-A Salt Lake on Aug. 3 and worked three scoreless innings in his last three rehab appearances.

"The first time I went to Salt Lake, I just had some stuff creep up," Bailey said. "I got it checked out and cleared and spent a couple day just getting stuff to calm down. I needed to take a step back. I think a part of me just wanted to be back out there. I was trying to rush some things and pitch through some stuff, but we wanted to take a step back and get checked out. I went back and felt really good."

Bailey, who has a history of shoulder problems and underwent shoulder reconstruction surgery in 2013, admitted there were times this season when he wasn't sure if he was going to make it back to pitch again for the Angels, who signed him to a one-year, $1 million deal during the offseason.

"Throughout my career, it's been frustrating on the injury front," Bailey said. "A lot of times through my head, those things creep in, with the multiple surgeries I've had and all that kind of stuff. But you just keep pushing. Frustration really sets in, and that's just unmet expectations. I had a lot of expectations for myself. It doesn't mean I can't meet some of them, but it's been a long road and very frustrating. But I'm very happy to be back here. I feel healthy and ready to go."

Bailey will likely be eased back into action, but his return could ultimately help solidify the back end of the Angels' bullpen, which has been hurt in recent weeks by the David Hernandez trade and Bud Norris' struggles. Norris had been a key cog for the Angels' relief corps as the club's unofficial closer and logged a 2.17 ERA over 37 1/3 innings in his first 38 games, but he's faltered over the last month, surrendering 14 runs over 7 2/3 innings (16.43 ERA) in his last 10 appearances.

On Thursday night, Norris squandered a three-run lead by allowing a solo home run to Jean Segura and a game-tying, two-run homer to Nelson Cruz in the eighth inning, though the Angels eventually rallied to beat the Mariners, 6-3.

"We've looked at a couple evaluations that were done on some of his pitch selection and his location," Scioscia said. "And we're going to continue to digest that and hopefully make some adjustments that will get him back to where he needs to be… This is the first real fork in the road he's come to as far as where he's been in the bullpen. He's passed every hurdle, every obstacle, every challenge. So hopefully he'll make some adjustments and get back on the beam."

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.