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Similar to Bard, Wakefield was sent down to the minors early in his career with Pittsburgh when he was struggling on the mound. What will the demotion do to Bard’s confidence, and what can he learn from it?
“Hopefully he’s in a better frame of mind than I was; that he’s going down there for more of a rehab thing and not based on performance. They converted him into a starter, they wanted him to be a starter, and they should go through the ups and downs with him, to an extent,” said Wakefield. “I understand they want to fix him, and I know Daniel wants to be fixed too, but in his mindset he felt he can do it at the big league level.”
“It’s a tough pill to swallow, but if he goes down with a good attitude – better than the one that I had – and works on his mechanics and gets things right, I’m sure he’ll be back up in the big leagues quickly.”
What is Daniel Bard like in the clubhouse?
“He’s a great kid; very respectful, very knowledgeable about the game, very knowledgeable about his mechanics. He’ll get it figured out,” said Wake. “He has great stuff. He’s not throwing his fastball enough. As a reliever, you can come in and throw 97 for one inning and really blow guys away. I’d like to see him use his fastball more and throw his breaking ball and changeup off his fastball. In my opinion he’s pitching away from contact instead of attacking the strike zone.”