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Red Sox will try to make Daniel Bard a starter this spring

Dec 11, 2011, 12:24 PM EDT

bard getty Getty Images

New Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine confirmed Sunday what many have suspected: Daniel Bard is going to be tried as a starter during spring training.

This via the Boston Globe‘s Michael Vega.

Bard was drafted as a starter out of the University of North Carolina in 2006 before being moved to the bullpen after a brutal debut season at Single-A in 2007. He’s open to being transitioned back, and the Red Sox are hopeful of catching lightning in a bottle.

Bard averaged 97.3 mph with his fastball in 2011. He’ll probably scale that back some, and begin implementing his curve and slider a bit more, but he has great ability and a decent chance to succeed.

If it doesn’t work out in spring camp, no harm done — they’ll simply move him back to his late-innings role.

  1. Ben - Dec 11, 2011 at 12:44 PM

    Man, Boston is hard-up for pitching. Is there really no one better left on the FA market or for trade?
    Does this mean Lackey loses his rotation spot, or does Bard replace Wakefield?

    • hammyofdoom - Dec 11, 2011 at 12:52 PM

      Lackey had TJ surgery, hes gone for the year. wakefield isnt coming back either it looks like, so they are going to have open competition for the 4th-5th spots between guys in their system it looks like (unless they can get a cheap 1 year solution for either spot)

    • frankvzappa - Dec 11, 2011 at 12:53 PM

      The guy had enough trouble making it through a single inning for good chunks of last year. I would love it if it worked out, and it is worth a try, but I really don’t see this as a viable solution. More viable than Lackey or Wakefield, probably, but the Sox are up a creek, especially considering the Angels’ recent moves.

      • bobwsc - Dec 11, 2011 at 1:02 PM

        he threw 25 scoreless innings. he was on fumes by the end of the season (Papelbon too) because they rest of the pen wasn’t performing. he’s better than his numbers showed.

    • hittfamily - Dec 11, 2011 at 1:01 PM

      Lackey is on the B&FCR because of Colonel Sander Surgery.

      There are no available fried chickens, and only the Rays and White Sox have any available. The Braves have Jurrjens available, but only if Reddick+ is involveld. Bard and Andrew Miller are what the Sox are likely left with.

      David Price, James Shields, Jeremy Hellickson, Wade Davis, Jeff Niemann, Matt Moore, Alex Cobb, Alex Torres. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

      It is better than Vicks Vap o’ rub for sure. I’m relaxed and feeling wonderful as a Rays fan.

      • proudlycanadian - Dec 11, 2011 at 2:12 PM

        LOL! Better not let any Red Sox fans know your real name.

      • hittfamily - Dec 11, 2011 at 5:02 PM

        Call me crazy but I’m more worried about the Jays than I am the Yanks or Sox.

        Matt Moore is our #4, and he k’d 15 in 9.1 ip last year. It should be fun.

      • Ari Collins - Dec 11, 2011 at 7:45 PM

        You’re crazy. Blue Jays are a good team, but they’re not at the Sox/Yankees level. (Yet.)

    • randygnyc - Dec 11, 2011 at 2:50 PM

      Yup, this has “Tommy John” written all over this.

      Following the Rangers, the RS are going to take their closer of the future and stretch out his arm, and ligaments, and expect 100+ pitches per game from a guy who’s been a max effort, every pitch guy. As a Yankees fan, I like this move. I just don’t think he translates to being a starter.

      • JBerardi - Dec 11, 2011 at 4:21 PM

        If they follow the Rangers into a starter as effective as CJ Wilson or Alexi Ogando, fine by me…

      • hittfamily - Dec 11, 2011 at 4:56 PM

        The Rays are thinking of making their closer a starter too.

        Wait. No they aren’t. They have 8 MLB starters. OMG. What was I thinking.

      • Ari Collins - Dec 11, 2011 at 6:11 PM

        Yeah, umm. Not only have the Rangers had great success with lesser relievers, but it’s actually more taxing to relieve than to close, unless you’re quite young.

      • randygnyc - Dec 11, 2011 at 10:58 PM

        History hasn’t been good to long, lanky fireballers that convert to starters. Ogando is clearly a work in progress and cj wilson’s fastball isn’t in the same hemisphere as Bards. Bards body type just doesn’t convert all that well.

  2. teaspoon1731 - Dec 11, 2011 at 1:01 PM

    I don’t really see it as a bad move. They try him, he doesn’t work, no harm no foul. They try him and it does work, they’ve got a starting pitcher for cheap. In the long run, could he be any worse than Lackey?

    • bigharold - Dec 11, 2011 at 4:55 PM

      “..could he be any worse than Lackey?”

      Only if you don’t have to give the closer or set up job to Jenks. At the moment it looks like he’s it.

  3. Kyle - Dec 11, 2011 at 1:35 PM

    Definitely worth a try.

  4. dirtyharry1971 - Dec 11, 2011 at 7:51 PM

    They better leave a spot open for Dice K cause he will come back around the break and this guy is a winner and they NEED him in the rotation. Get better sooon Dice K!!!!

  5. purnellmeagrejr - Dec 11, 2011 at 7:59 PM

    This guy looks like he would be hard to hit. Is he a slightly better Bobby Parnell?

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