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BOSTON (CBS) – Daniel Bard’s days as a starter may be numbered in Boston.
Bard allowed just one hit in Toronto on Sunday, but it was one that left the yard off the bat of Jose Bautista. Factor in the six walks and two hit batsmen, and Bard allowed nine baserunners in just an inning and two-thirds. After the 5-1 loss, Bard is now 5-6 on the season with a 5.24 ERA.
So is it time for Bard to head back to the bullpen? CBS Sports baseball insider Jon Heyman joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Gresh and Zolak on Tuesday to discuss that possibility.
“I’m not going to guarantee it’s over. Based on talks with scouts from other teams he should be a reliever,” Heyman said of Bard. “They felt he is a thrower and not a starting pitcher. I know (the Red Sox) really had resolved to see this through. Obviously (Sunday) was a disastrous start and they’ll have to re-evaluate. I think ultimately he will be a reliever.”
“His velocity is clearly down, and he’s striking out as many as he is walking, at best,” Heyman continued. “He’s not pitching as well as he did in the bullpen. Scouts felt he didn’t have the repertoire to be a starting pitcher. These are guys that saw him (in college) at North Carolina and didn’t think he was a starter.”
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Bard has made it clear he wants to be a starter, and after his recent outing hinted that the team is messing with his mechanics. Could the Sox send him down to Triple-A to work things out, much like they did with Mark Melancon in the first week of the season?
“I don’t know. It was one disastrous start, so I’m not sure they’ll do that. If they really felt he needs to work on something, I wouldn’t rule it out,” said Heyman. “I haven’t heard that to this point; they may give him another start, another chance.”
As for the trade market for third baseman Kevin Youkilis, there are teams that are interested, but Boston is unlikely to get much in return for the 33-year-old.
“Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Arizona are the teams scouting him most. The White Sox I know also like him, and there are several teams that he makes sense for,” said Heyman. “There are several teams that do like him, but with the $12 salary and the $1 million buyout next year, that’s $9 million he is owed.”
“They’re not going to get a lot back for him,” said Heyman, “but with Middlebrooks here and Gonzalez in the outfield, with Ellsbury and Carl Crawford coming back at some point, it’s pretty crowded.”
Also, does Heyman think it’s smart for the Red Sox to bring Dustin Pedroia back so early from his thumb injury?