BOSTON (CBS) — Whenever a team tries converting a reliever to a starter, there are bound to be some bumps along the way. For Daniel Bard, Tuesday brought a rather large bump.
The Red Sox are sending Bard to Triple-A Pawtucket. The news was first reported by The Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham,
The move comes after a disastrous start by Bard in Toronto on Sunday, when he lasted just 1 2/3 innings while walking six batters and hitting two others with pitches, while also allowing a home run to Jose Bautista.
It hasn’t all been bad for Bard, though. On the season, he is 5-6 with a 5.24 ERA.
He is, however, fifth in the American League with 37 walks in 55 innings, compared to just 34 strikeouts. Prior to this season, his season-high for walks was 30 as a reliever, but even then, he struck out more than twice as many hitters.
Bard seemed just as mystified as anyone else why he’s struggled so badly this year.
“[I'm] constantly trying to tweak little things in [my] delivery to make the next pitch a little better than the last,” he said after Sunday’s start. ”The ability to repeat just isn’t there like it has been in the past. If anything, it’s that I allowed something to happen when I switched roles. Maybe we just tried to turn me into a starter rather than just take the same pitcher I was out there and move that guy to the rotation, which is probably what should have been done.”
Bard’s plans after Sunday’s game seemed to be getting back to basics.
“I think we’ve tried to change a few too many things,” he said. “Maybe just get back to being simple.”
Daisuke Matsuzaka, currently rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, could start in place of Bard on Saturday, though no announcement has yet been made.