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Daniel Bard struggling in Puerto Rican Winter League

Nov 17, 2013, 11:51 AM EST

daniel bard getty Getty Images

Daniel Bard is healthy and hoping to reestablish himself in the Puerto Rican Winter League. But the experiment is not off to a very promising start.

According to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com, the 28-year-old walked five batters and gave up three earned runs Saturday in his third appearance for Criollos de Caguas. He threw multiple wild pitches in the inning and has now retired just one of the 13 hitters he’s faced since joining the winter ball team.

In three total relief appearances so far for Criollos de Caguas, Bard has surrendered seven earned runs on nine walks and four wild pitches. He has hit three batters. It’s not uncommon for struggling players — even those with major league experience — to be released from winter league teams midseason. And it sure seems like Bard will soon meet that fate.

Bard was put on waivers by the Red Sox in September and claimed a few days later by the Cubs.

The right-hander registered a 1.93 ERA across 74 2/3 innings for Boston in 2010, but he appeared in just two major league games this year and had a 6.46 ERA between rookie ball and Double-A. The Cubs will likely invite him to camp next spring, but he’ll be pitching for a minor league roster spot.

  1. tfbuckfutter - Nov 17, 2013 at 12:07 PM

    So…can we play outfield or something?

    Oh yeah, he plays for the Cubs. He’s qualified to play at any of the corner power positions.

  2. proudlycanadian - Nov 17, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    I was a big fan of Bard when he pitched for the Red Sox and was sorry when they placed him on waivers.

    • drewzducks - Nov 17, 2013 at 10:40 PM

      You’re very forgiving seeing that his worst meltdown almost killed two of your Jays.

      • proudlycanadian - Nov 18, 2013 at 7:22 AM

        He was terrible against the Jays and even failed in his manslaughter attempts.

  3. dpeter11 - Nov 17, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    Does he still get a playoff share?

  4. themuddychicken - Nov 17, 2013 at 2:18 PM

    Daniel Bard stories make me sad. I really wish he’d put it back together, regardless of which team it was for.

  5. pastabelly - Nov 17, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    He lost 5+ mph on his fastball. Doubt he’ll ever get that back.

  6. deaninajijic - Nov 17, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    Think Scott Kazmir. Same problems as Bard and it took him a few years after the Angels released him to get it back. Here’s hoping Bard can get it back.

    • tfbuckfutter - Nov 17, 2013 at 3:15 PM

      Huge difference.

      Kazmir had 1000 innings under his belt when he flamed out at 27 to Bard’s 250 at 28.

      Just seems apples and oranges to me to compare a starter and a reliever in this respect. Although I do agree it’d be nice to see him rebound….but I don’t see a relatively inexperienced reliever getting the same accolades for coming back from adversity as an established starter.

      I won’t be surprised if he eventually turns into a serviceable arm somewhere like Kansas City and no one notices.

  7. themagicfanguy - Nov 17, 2013 at 3:48 PM

    What the hell happened to him? He was so good…

  8. keltictim - Nov 17, 2013 at 5:09 PM

    Met him a few times at daisys a local Boston area watering hole and he always seemed like a good egg. It’s a shame that his once promising trajectory has taken a nose dive. Gotta wonder if all the role changes played a part

  9. ltpm3 - Nov 17, 2013 at 6:36 PM

    Valentine messed up this kid’s head. I wish something could be done to help him because he was a really good pitcher!!

    • babsports - Nov 18, 2013 at 11:05 AM

      Armchair psychologist.

    • Jack Marshall - Dec 9, 2013 at 10:31 PM

      Christ. What else can you blame on Bobby V, global warming? Bard was lousy at the end of 2011, and Bobby V opposed the plan to make him a starter..and he was right. Bard lost his velocity, his control and his confidence, and Valentine had nothing to do with it.

  10. netqueen33 - Nov 17, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    He was the best 8th inning man in baseball & I think he (or his agent) got greedy. He “strongly suggested” to management that he become a starter (much more $$). He’s never been the same since. Seemed like a great guy too. I wish him well.

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