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Daniel Bard has some doubters about his move to the starting rotation

Mar 17, 2012, 11:09 AM EDT

Daniel Bard

Daniel Bard is being stretched out as a starter this spring after spending the past four seasons (including three in the majors) as a reliever. He tossed five scoreless innings over his first two Grapefruit League appearances, but was blasted for seven runs over 2 2/3 innings on Thursday against the Cardinals.

We shouldn’t panic about one bad performance, especially one that was interrupted by a rain delay, but two anonymous scouts told Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com that the Red Sox are making a mistake by moving him to the rotation.

“Bard should be in the pen,” the A.L. scout said. “He’s a thrower, not a pitcher. And he’s had success in the pen. I’d have made him the closer once (Jonathan) Papelbon left.”

The other scout agreed, but believes that the Red Sox will give Bard half a season in the rotation before reevaluating. The 26-year-old has his fair share of doubters, in part because he had a disastrous 7.08 ERA and 47/78 K/BB ratio (you’re reading that correctly) over 75 innings as a starter during his first pro season in 2007, but it’s hard to put much stock in those numbers since he was 22 years old at the time and was using different mechanics. He has a chance to provide much more value to the Red Sox as a starter as opposed to a reliever, so this is a worthy experiment.

Of course, Bard has walked seven batters over 7 2/3 innings this spring, which is a bit of a concern after his command suddenly eluded him last September.

  1. proudlycanadian - Mar 17, 2012 at 11:41 AM

    Keep him in the rotation PLEASE!

  2. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 17, 2012 at 12:00 PM

    Not really shocked, he has a very noticeable left/right split and they won’t be able to hide that as a starter.

  3. uyf1950 - Mar 17, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    Some may say it’s my Yankee bias. But I just don’t see him being an effective starter as I’ve said from the beginning.

    • 24missed - Mar 18, 2012 at 3:39 PM

      Your comments are based on reality, not bias. I haven’t been excited about this ‘experiment’ to begin with, either. If it aint’ broke, don’t fix it. Bard has the deer in headlights look and I sure hope I’m wrong, but I can’t see this working out. I’m not calling it from just that one start either. Just thinking how valuable Bard was to the bullpen last year and I don’t think he’ll really rise to the starting role. Again, I really hope I’m wrong.

  4. drewsylvania - Mar 17, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    What’s great is that Heyman also reports that an NL scout thinks the Sox will only need Bard in the rotation for half the year. Heyman conveniently doesn’t mention that “half the year” is how long it will take for Daisuke Matsuzaka–a Boras client–to come back.

  5. randygnyc - Mar 17, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    I’m not going to complain that the red sox are misusing an important asset. Hopefully, he’ll have season ending dead arm by the time they figure it out.

    • drewsylvania - Mar 18, 2012 at 12:08 AM

      Mmmm a dickhead.

  6. Glenn - Mar 17, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    What’s wrong with giving him a shot as a starter? If it doesn’t work out, he goes back to the pen. If it does work out, he is more valuable as a starter. If it works out but his innings pile up, he can move back to the pen. If he starts off in the pen, he couldn’t just become a starter. I see no downside to this experiment.

  7. frankvzappa - Mar 17, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    The guy could barely make it through one inning last year, so I don’t see how this is any sort of viable solution. Maybe now that Wakefield is gone we need somebody to throw batting practice every 5th day.

  8. damnyankee13 - Mar 18, 2012 at 2:22 AM

    the red sox are a mistake, period.

  9. gwb15 - Mar 18, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    You’re a mistake. I called your father and he confirmed the rumor…15

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