SEATTLE -- There seems to be a decent chance that Red Sox reliever Andrew Bailey finally will be able to pitch for the Red Sox in the coming weeks.
Bailey spent part of the pregame Sunday morning throwing from 150 feet and testing his arm. He’s trying to come back from right thumb surgery.
"I saw all but the last five throws of it, and he looked pretty good,’’ manager Bobby Valentine said. "Tomorrow is going to be a good test for him, to see how he feels.
"He was stretching it out pretty good.’’
When the Red Sox traded Josh Reddick to the A’s to get Bailey, the idea was that Bailey would be the Boston closer.
When he does come back, however, he’ll likely find that his role has changed. Although Valentine wouldn’t say so, Bailey figures to come back as a setup man to Alfredo Aceves.
"Once he gets back,’’ the manager said, "we’ll see how he feels.’’
Although Aceves took the loss in 11 innings Saturday, he has 18 saves, tied for fifth in the American League.
AVILES SCRATCHED: Mike Aviles was in the original starting lineup Sunday, but the Sox scratched him just a few minutes before the game.
The shortstop apparently was suffering from flu-like symptoms and is day-to-day.
Nick Punto took over at short, one of three members of the Boston bench getting his first start in the four-game series.
INJURY UPDATES: Left fielder Carl Crawford flew to Boston Sunday and will be checked out by the Red Sox medics before a determination is made on what’s next for him in his injury rehabilitation assignment. He’s been playing for about a week with the Red Sox’s Gulf Coast League team, serving as the DH as well as playing in the field.
Jacoby Ellsbury, also in the GCL, has been primarily a DH but played the outfield Saturday and is scheduled to do so again on Monday.
Outfielder Scott Podsednik is close to being big-league ready, having played five innings Saturday in Triple-A.
Left-handed pitcher Rich Hill, on the disabled list for about three weeks now with a left elbow strain, is on the mend. Valentine said while Hill isn’t ready to step on a pitching mound yet, he’s on pace to be back sometime shortly after the All-Star break.