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Rangers sign Daniel Bard to a minor league deal

Jan 31, 2014, 9:05 PM EDT

Daniel Bard AP

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Rangers have signed pitcher Daniel Bard to a minor league deal.

Bard, 28, spent the last five seasons with the Red Sox, showing promise in 2010 and ’11 out of the bullpen, but has battled control issues more recently. He is currently on his way back from thoracic outlet surgery.

The Cubs selected Bard off waivers from the Red Sox in September last season, but non-tendered him last month.

  1. miketreedy - Jan 31, 2014 at 9:57 PM

    Good signing. If anyone can change him around it’s Mike Maddox.

  2. cackalackyank - Jan 31, 2014 at 10:12 PM

    I remember when this guy was a lights out prospect. Then they tried to make him a starter. Reminds me a lot of what went on with Joba. Only Joba got a big league deal.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 1, 2014 at 12:05 AM

      Two entirely different scenarios, and not even worth bringing up for the 25th+ time. Joba had better pitching stats than Hughes, Lester and Buccholz thru thru 43 starts, he just couldn’t stay healthy so the Yanks kept him in the bullpen. Bard was a failure at starting, and began declining well before the bottom fell out (look at his splits against lefties).

    • quintjs - Feb 1, 2014 at 12:23 AM

      Bard was always a starter, and he struggled with control in the minors. Things only worked out for him when the Sox turned in into a reliever. He went back to being a starter not only because the Red Sox had interest in seeing him start, but he told them he wanted to start.

      The Bard situation is nothing like Joba. Joba was screwed around. You are in relief, you start, you start but only pitch a relief amount of innings, start again, 2 week rest, 4 inning start, relief, 2 inning start following by 2 inning relief + 1 inning in CF, normal start followed by 5 innings in commentry (note some of those might have been made up).

      Bard finished one season as a reliever and started the next as a starter, lots of people have done that with success. Bard wasn’t screwed around with by the Sox, he lost his ability to throw a baseball. An ability it took him years to develop in the minors. He didn’t glide through the minors like other stud draft picks, he struggle with control.

      And another thing that is overlooked was this wasn’t a sudden onset with starting, he was terrible the September before in relief (people loss that fact amongst the beer and chicken). So you can argue it had nothing to do with starting as there were signs of it the year before.

      That said – really hope Bard can rediscover his magic and get back into a Major League uniform, it was really fun to watch him pitch. Hopefully someone can find and post the .gif of his strikeout of Swisher – unbelievable pitch.

      • dan1111 - Feb 1, 2014 at 3:42 AM

        Exactly. Hindsight is 20/20. There was no way to predict that Bard would implode as a starter. And there was certainly no way to predict that, if he did fail at starting, he wouldn’t be able to regain his form as a reliever.

        Plenty of pitchers have successfully moved from relieving to starting, and the value of a starter is so much higher that it is worth some risk to try it with someone of his potential.

    • paperlions - Feb 1, 2014 at 10:20 AM

      In an attempt to point out people’s confirmation bias with respect to moving guys between the bullpen and rotation, which they often blame for arm troubles, I noted in every story about TJ surgery that the guy had always been a starter or reliever and broke anyway. Pitchers break and pitchers loose their stuff, it generally has nothing to do with whether they start or relieve.

      For years the Cardinals have been shuffling guys back and forth based on need with a lot of guys starting and relieving the same year in multiple years. They’ve had 2 guys with arm troubles, and those guys were just starters: Wainwright and Garcia.

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