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Things aren’t going so well for Daniel Bard in the minors

Jun 30, 2012, 2:05 PM EDT

Daniel Bard Reuters Reuters

Daniel Bard is now committed to being a relief pitcher, but we may not see him back in the majors in the near future.

Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal brings word that Bard issued three walks and hit a batter while recording just one out last night with Triple-A Pawtucket. He threw just nine out of his 26 pitches for strikes and two of the walks forced in runs with the bases loaded.

No surprise here, but PawSox manager Arnie Beyeler believes Bard’s inability to find the strike zone is rooted in mechanical issues.

“He just doesn’t feel it, I guess. He just can’t repeat with consistency, which is why he’s here, and then you see the wheel start spinning and things kind of snowball. That’s the whole deal — trying to get that feel and that consistency to try to repeat.”

Bard began the season in the Red Sox starting rotation, but he was demoted last month after posting a 5.24 ERA and 34/37 K/BB ratio in 55 innings. Over nine appearances with Triple-A Pawtucket, the 27-year-old right-hander has a 7.15 ERA, eight walks, four hit batsman and three wild pitches in 11 1/3 innings pitched. Yikes.

  1. bradybbgoat - Jun 30, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    I agreed at the time with the decision to convert Bard to a starter, but its obvious now that the move really messed with his head.

    Hopefully he can get things simplified again and return as one of baseball’s best set up guys.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jun 30, 2012 at 2:27 PM

      Agreed. He didn’t exactly exude confidence before the move, now he seems to have none at all.

      • patsandsox - Jun 30, 2012 at 3:26 PM

        He is a head case. It is his fault. He insisted on being a starter. The red sox desperate for another starter and not wanting to spend money agreed. Boy has it back fired.

        Now he may never recover. I think he will spend the rest of the season in the minors and get a call up in september whether he deservers it or not. He needs therapy or something to rebuild his confidence because he has the talent and ability

  2. phillyphever - Jun 30, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    This is 100% management’s fault. Bard should have never been converted into a starter in the first place. He’s basically a two pitch guy, and those never succeed starting.

    • mornelithe - Jun 30, 2012 at 2:41 PM

      It’s Bard’s fault, actually, he basically demanded to be considered for a starting position, and would’ve requested a trade otherwise. I guess we could blame management for not shipping him, but then you’d be down Bard and Papelbon starting a new season.

      As a reliever/set-up guy, Bard was pretty damn good, but he’s got a long road to travel to get back to that.

    • drewsylvania - Jun 30, 2012 at 6:16 PM

      He is a three-pitch guy. He only bothered with two in reliever.

    • xavier46 - Jul 1, 2012 at 12:12 AM

      4 seam, 2 seam, change, slider..

    • comanchepilot - Jul 2, 2012 at 1:22 PM

      there are ALOT of management faults in this team this year- can we just get the stupid front office to shut the f up – and go off in a corner and sulk for a month? The owners are actors and real estate salesmen for gosh sakes – let the players play for a month before you start chirping.

    • cmmk74 - Jul 2, 2012 at 5:03 PM

      He was the one who wanted to ge a starter. If he had been a really good reliever he could have had Paps place but he wasn’t. He just has to get better and work harder, hes not there yet.

  3. randygnyc - Jun 30, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    The Sox turned a dominant, would be closer, in to a neurotic, head case. The career threatening emasculation is nearly complete. Visions of Bard self comforting, with a pacifier, between innings, is only a scant few base on balls and hit by pitches away from reality.

    • mornelithe - Jun 30, 2012 at 2:52 PM

      Bard did it to himself….he wanted to be a SP, Sox gave it a shot, and couldn’t afford to have him tossing meat every inning.

    • xavier46 - Jul 1, 2012 at 12:07 AM

      Randy self comforting with a giant rod of man meat in his mouth, between games, is only a few more injuries and Yankee losses away from being a once a week deal to everyday norm.

  4. trapper17 - Jun 30, 2012 at 3:00 PM

    Yeah I wanted a shot to did I get what I wanted now its the front offices fault nobody else’s period now he going to need trs to fix this he may never get it back

    • jimbo1949 - Jun 30, 2012 at 3:12 PM

      that’s easy for you to say.

      • bradybbgoat - Jun 30, 2012 at 3:26 PM

        I’m not even sure its easy for him to say…

  5. 13yrsmlbvet - Jun 30, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    Cherington never HAD to give in to him and let him try starting. He held the hammer and caved in to the player. Daniel is a poor athlete, evident in his fielding, especially throws to bases on comebackers and bunt plays. He is a guy who, when he loses it, will take a long time to find it again. That was his history in the minors. This will take a while to fix. Blame to pin on one entity is unfair but the cast of The Big Bang Theory in that front office deserves most of it.

    • patsandsox - Jun 30, 2012 at 3:44 PM

      which one is sheldon?

  6. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jun 30, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    Perhaps it is just the Peter Principle at work, but avoiding that would mean a guy who thrives at AA would never make it to AAA (“he’s going good in AA; why mess with it?”) Because you need to find an asset’s maximum value, and good starting pitchers are simply more valuable than good relievers. I think it is worth it to see if a guy can handle the load. It is not that Bard’s repertoire was the problem; dude can’t find the zone. It sounds like he is more Knoblauch than Joba.

  7. theskinsman - Jun 30, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    which one is sheldon?
    Clearly Randy…minus the intellect,of course.

  8. Jack Marshall - Jun 30, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    The blame-casting is hindsight bias at its worst. Bard has the stuff to be a starter (or had) and the Sox had doubts about his consistency as a closer (as did I.) It was a legitimate experiment under the circumstances—it just didn’t work. Who would have predicted that Bard’s velocity would suddenly drop 6 mph? Who predicted he would lose the strike zone completely? If Cook had pitched the game he did last night in his first game for the Sox, rather than get spiked and fall apart like he did, maybe the Sox would have moved Bard back to the bullpen in May with Cokk taking his place. Maybe he would have rebounded. If, if, if. Bard couldn’t do it, that’s all, and now he’s messed up. It’s nobody’s “fault.”

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 30, 2012 at 7:03 PM

      Who predicted he would lose the strike zone completely?

      Well he did have a 9.4 BB/9 ratio as a starter in the minors, which was one of the reasons he was converted to a reliever.

  9. Ari Collins - Jun 30, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    You guys are aware that Bard was a mess mechanically last September too, right? When he was a reliever? And that that carried over to this year? It had nothing to do with covering him to a starter. Or, at least, it’s much more likely that it’s the mechanical issues that have plagued him since September (and that are mentioned in the article and this recap) than that he lost his confidence due to starting. Unless someone here knows him personally, I highly doubt your psychological insights are worth anything.

    • bbil2012 - Jul 1, 2012 at 10:23 AM

      Totally agree. He was undependable last September. It’s clear his struggles began then. His pitching motion was a mess. However, because he was already screwed up, it was not the time to convert to starting. Bad call Boston brass.

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