“I was struggling bad as a starter,” he said. “There was always that one bad inning. I’d have a few shutout innings and then a really bad one. Before you knew it, my ERA had gone through the roof.
“When I first started closing in the Fall League, I’m sure there was some ‘Is he going to make it?’”
“I looked at it as an opportunity rather than a demotion.”
A closer has to have a positive outlook, Bailey says.
“You can’t be afraid. You have to come in and shut the door,” he said. “It’s ‘me vs. you.’ You have to allow them to hit the ball sometimes, make the defense work for you.
“The great thing about this role is that you get to come to the ballpark every day and have a chance to pitch. There’s that pressure, that adrenalin rush.”
Notes: Position players don’t officially work out for the first time until Monday, but Matsui went through a light workout, taking some swings in the covered batting cage. It rained most of the morning and the temperature was around 50. He will be the DH, but could see some time in the outfield this spring. “It’s not bad for him to keep those skills up,” Geren said. … first baseman Daric Barton and outfielder David DeJesus likely will alternate in the second and third spots in the batting order.