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Daniel Bard’s days as a starter may soon be over

Jun 4, 2012, 1:02 PM EDT

Daniel Bard

The bad performance yesterday — and most of the season — may be enough to doom Daniel Bard‘s future as a starting pitcher, but if there was any doubt about it, read this from WEEI:

According to a major league source, as we sit here right now, the Sox’ priority when it comes to bolstering the big league roster in the days leading up to the deadline is finding starting pitching depth.

This from a team that has Daisuke Matsuzaka poised to return soon and will have Aaron Cook back soon as well.

Bard has 37 walks and 34 strikeouts in 55 innings and an ERA of 5.25.

  1. skeleteeth - Jun 4, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    Yes plz!

  2. cur68 - Jun 4, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    His starting days were over the second after he hit E5. I await Valentine’s inevitably inflammatory comments.

  3. rollinghighwayblues - Jun 4, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    From a personal perspective, I find the Red Sox much more dangerous with Bard in the bullpen, assuming he can find his control if he does, in fact, go back to the pen. Bard is fooling no one up there, especially when batters start licking their chops for their 3rd at bat of the game.

    • Jack Marshall - Jun 4, 2012 at 3:03 PM

      Which current bullpen member would the 2012 Bard be an improvement over? I see no candidates. Albers is the likely victim, but at this point he’s better than Bard.

      • rollinghighwayblues - Jun 4, 2012 at 3:34 PM

        That’s why I said they’re dangerous with Bard in the bullpen assuming he can tame his rising walk numbers, something the 2012 Bard has had trouble with, to say the least.

      • baseballisboring - Jun 4, 2012 at 3:58 PM

        Bard would instantly become the best pitcher in the bullpen.

  4. uyf1950 - Jun 4, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    The trouble is it doesn’t seem like very many if any starting pitchers that have a say over where they want to play are inclined to go to Boston this year.

    • baseballisboring - Jun 4, 2012 at 4:03 PM

      I mean…I don’t see why not, we’re 3 games back of the division and only getting better as we get guys back from injuries. Plus it’s not like most guys would have the choice anyway. Most players don’t have no trade clauses.

  5. aceshigh11 - Jun 4, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    Damnit, I really hope the Sox didn’t scramble up Bard’s mind and confidence the way Yanks did with Joba.

    Both are/were too talented to be so mismanaged.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 4, 2012 at 1:48 PM

      The two of them aren’t really comparable if you know anything about their respective careers. But it’s been written about, on this board even, ad nauseum and not worth repeating again.

    • skeleteeth - Jun 4, 2012 at 1:51 PM

      Had this exact conversation with deathmonkey41 today, which with his opinion I disagreed. Fortunately, he’s a Yankee fan and has absolutely no idea what he’s talking about.

      • deathmonkey41 - Jun 4, 2012 at 1:57 PM

        Shut yer piehole!

      • aceshigh11 - Jun 4, 2012 at 2:12 PM

        So there’s NO similarity?

        Two young, hard-throwing setup relief pitchers who could hit 100 on the radar gun with their fastballs and become something of a “phenom”…then they’re moved to the rotation where they struggle and lose velocity, then get bounced back to the bullpen (Bard isn’t there yet, but it looks like that’s where he’s heading).

        Of course they aren’t 100% similar but to say there’s no comparison is a major stretch. I don’t see why you’d be so dismissive.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 4, 2012 at 2:21 PM

        then they’re moved to the rotation where they struggle and lose velocity, then get bounced back to the bullpen

        Because this isn’t the same for both of them. Joba was a starter in college, a starter in the minors where he was extremely successful, and brought up in the bullpen to fill a need. The goal was to always have him a starter.

        Bard was a starter in college, tried to start in the minors and failed so he was converted to a reliever, and was brought up to be in the bullpen because that is where he had success.

        I bolded the difference. Many of us also pointed out why Bard would have difficulties as a starter in the pros that had nothing to do with his previous, failed, experience. [He has trouble against lefties, and he walks too many people.]

  6. uyf1950 - Jun 4, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    I have a question for Red Sox fans. Let’s for the moment say Bard does go back to the bullpen. Obviously or at least it seems obvious to the Red Sox brain trust never really considered him realistically as the heir apparent to Papelbon. Otherwise they never would have made the trade’s for Bailey and Melancon. But that’s neither here or there.

    My question is if he goes back to the pen where do the Sox slotting him in? Aceves is doing a very credible job as their closer now. Bailey at some point will be back and then or now you will have Bard. Who do you make the closer, the setup guy and then the 7th inning guy when all 3 are healthy and available?

    On the surface it might seem like a pleasant dilemma for the Sox to have. But none of the 3 I’m sure are expecting to be “demoted” if I can use that term to the 7th inning.

    • baseballisboring - Jun 4, 2012 at 2:41 PM

      I think the plan in getting Melancon and Bailey was to move Bard to the rotation, I don’t think it’s that they didn’t trust him to close when he did so well setting up. If he gets moved to the ‘pen, let him close. He’s just flat out better than Aceves. Then Bard’s performance will dictate where Bailey slots in when he gets back. I don’t particularly like Aceves in high leverage situations, leave him as a 6th/7th inning/swingman type.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 4, 2012 at 2:51 PM

        Aceves can also throw multiple innings. So maybe push Bard back to closer and let him get the typical save role, and have Aceves be the [long] fireman who can go in the 7th/8th or both and get them out of danger?

      • Jack Marshall - Jun 4, 2012 at 3:09 PM

        I see no proof that Bard can close. He was about 50% when he closed for the Sox, and Papelbon never had a long stretch when he was as bad as Bard was in August and September last year. Neither has Aceves, for that matter. If Bard had been lights out at the end of last season, he would have been the closer this year. I don’t think the Sox trust him, and I think they are right not to.

      • proudlycanadian - Jun 4, 2012 at 3:14 PM

        Last September, Bard helped keep the Red Sox out of the playoffs.

      • baseballisboring - Jun 4, 2012 at 3:56 PM

        Oh stop it. Yes, he imploded in September. The Sox bullpen was thin and they had ridden him hard all year. He went into September with an ERA of about 2.80. Even with the 10.64 he put up in September, his ERA for the season was 3.36, he struck out over 9 per 9 innings and walked just under three. He’s good enough to close. And the Sox would’ve never stuck him in the rotation if they thought he wasn’t capable of closing, since starting is much harder anyways. They got Melancon and Bailey because they needed some late inning help and the fact that Bard was petitioning to get into the rotation probably had something to do with it, given the lack of quality, affordable starting pitching available through trade and FA.

  7. yankeehatersaredelusional - Jun 4, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    Really? I think its a little premature. He hasn’t killed anyone with his pitching….. yet…..

  8. Jack Marshall - Jun 4, 2012 at 4:12 PM

    I would say starters are more valuable than closers, but starting is not “harder” than closing. How many effective starters have been outstanding closers? Eck and Smoltz…and who else? How many closers have made a successful transition to starter? If the Sox thought Bard was going to be an outstanding closer, they would have left him in the bullpen.

    Bard also blew a bunch of games at the start of last season. I am not alone in doubting his ability to close, mostly because of his control.

    • baseballisboring - Jun 4, 2012 at 4:43 PM

      I think it is. Bard’s ERA has skyrocketed and all his peripherals have gotten worse with his transition to the rotation. He loses a few MPH off his fastball, he has to use his changeup which is kinda underdeveloped, he has to face guys multiple times.

      The thing is, all relievers are failed starters. You don’t move a guy to the pen until you’re sure he can’t start, be it because of his repertoire, or maybe just because you’re afraid he’ll get injured. But you never see effective starters turned into closers to begin with, unless it’s a temporary thing. Often you’ll see guys broken into the big leagues as late inning relievers and then transitioned back to the rotation the next year. Think Neftali Feliz.

      • Jack Marshall - Jun 4, 2012 at 6:44 PM

        “The thing is, all relievers are failed starters.” Wrong. Papelbon was not a failed starter. Smoltz was certainly not a failed starter. He appeared to be a very promising young starter. Terry Francona decided to make him the closer, and in fact, that season, 2006, the Red Sox were desperate for starters. It would have made sense to move him back into the rotation.

      • baseballisboring - Jun 4, 2012 at 7:25 PM

        No, it’s not wrong. When you’re bringing guys up through the minor league system you give them every chance to start before you demote them to the bullpen. Papelbon had a history of shoulder trouble, and also told Tito something to the effect of “I can never start again, I love closing too much” because he loved the adrenaline/pressure/whatever. Smoltz became a closer to lessen the stress on his arm after being injured. And yes, he was lights out as a closer because he was such a good starter. It’s definitely easier. Bard is good in the 8th, he’d be good in the 9th. They’re the same thing.

  9. cambodianbreastmilk - Jun 4, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    Bard’s days as a Red Sock might be over. I’ve kept an eye on him through my fantasy league and he couldn’t have had more then 2 good starts. Send him back down or try and get some compensation for him.

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