Blog Entry

Red Sox to experiment with Bard as a starter

Posted on: December 10, 2011 11:00 pm
 
Daniel Bard

By C. Trent Rosecrans

By most accounts -- or guesses, really at this point -- Daniel Bard appears to be the closer for the Red Sox in 2012. However, going into spring training, Bard will work as a starter, new manager Bobby Valentine said on Saturday.

Speaking to a live audience of fans at Christmas at Fenway, Valentine said he's already spoken to the 26-year-old Bard about working as a starter at the beginning of spring training.

"He's going to be penciled in to be one of those guys who works going from his bullpen to pitching two innings to pitching four innings to pitching six innings," Valentine said (via the Boston Globe). "Whenever we get to that plateau, with the pitching coach I'll hopefully have by my side soon, and all the members of the staff and front office. We'll have to make a determination after that 18-20 inning mark as to where he will be during the season. I told him to prepare to be a starter and if that, in fact, does not happen to be ready and willing to be our closer."

Bard went 2-9 with a 3.33 ERA with a save in 2011, with 74 strikeouts in 73 innings. In his three years in the majors, Bard is 5-13 with a 2.88 ERA and five saves, striking out 213 in 197 innings. He hasn't started a game in the big leagues.

A starter in college at North carolina, Bard started 22 games in 2007, his first year of professional baseball, but hasn't started since. He was 3-7 with a 7.08 ERA at Low-A and High-A in 2007, striking out 47 and walking 78 in 75 innings. He was switched to the bullpen the next season and shot through the minor leagues to the big leagues in 2009.

The move would be similar to what the Rangers have recently done with Alexi Ogando and Neftali Feliz. Ogando stuck in the rotation last season, while Feliz was moved back to the bullpen and used as the team's closer. He's expected to move to the rotation in 2012. Former Ranger and now-Angel, C.J. Wilson was also moved from the bullpen to the rotation in Texas to great success.

The Red Sox could still sign a closer, Ryan Madson and Francisco Cordero are still all the free-agent market. Boston could also turn to former White Sox closer Bobby Jenks, already under contract with the Red Sox. The team could also put another reliever, Alfredo Aceves, into a starter's role in the spring.

Alternately, the team could sign a free-agent starter, such as Roy Oswalt or Hiroki Kuroda, and move Bard back into the closer's role.

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Comments
nfflikeme
Since: Dec 12, 2011
Posted on: December 12, 2011 12:07 pm
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Since: Nov 11, 2011
Posted on: December 12, 2011 10:57 am
 

Red Sox to experiment with Bard as a starter

The Red Sox mentioned this before they hired Valentine. This was not his decision. When you look at what Starters are costing in the FA market Buehrle 4 years 58 Million?!!! and mediocre Trevor Cahill going for 3 prospects I can understand any time trying to change a reliever and their 60-80 innings into a starters. Aceves could also start along with Bard. Never enough guys to start. The Red Sox will get Madson or Bailey to cover saves, depth on the pitching staff is going to be a problem anyway because of Lackey, DiceK and money. I just don't buy into the Sox saying they won't spend because of the luxury tax. 



Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: December 12, 2011 9:57 am
 

Red Sox to experiment with Bard as a starter

Ugh, this move is terrible for the Sox. Mainly because I had Bard as my set up man on my Dynasty fantasy team and I was ready for him to move into the Closer role.



Since: Oct 16, 2011
Posted on: December 11, 2011 2:08 pm
 

Red Sox to experiment with Bard as a starter

They're going to trade for K-Rod from the Brewers. He's got a 1 year arbitration deal for $12 million that's too much for that team. I'm just guessing but I thought about this as soon as K-Rod chose to accept arbitration.



Since: Oct 19, 2007
Posted on: December 11, 2011 1:36 pm
 

Red Sox to experiment with Bard as a starter

I would really like the Red Sox to get Andrew Bailey and if that means Josh Bard has to start then so be it!



Since: Oct 19, 2007
Posted on: December 11, 2011 11:51 am
 

Red Sox to experiment with Bard as a starter

Hey Sox fans, enjoying Bobby Valentine yet? Bard as a starter? LMAO!

Do you also laugh when Neftali Perez was thought to be a starter as well?  The Red Sox left last year in a mess...they have to do something to try and turn things around.. Doesn't mean he can't be put back into the bullpen! 



Since: Oct 25, 2006
Posted on: December 11, 2011 11:15 am
 

Red Sox to experiment with Bard as a starter

If the other piece to the puzzle is a trade for Andrew Bailey from the A's to close, I like the move. In looking at the closer's on the free agent market, if they could get Ryan Madson to sign for a year or two it might be worth it. I don't want to any of the remaining names on the list in Boston. I have no confidence in Bobby Jenks, even if healthy. He was a terrible signing.



Since: Sep 2, 2006
Posted on: December 11, 2011 10:44 am
 

Red Sox to experiment with Bard as a starter

Hey Sox fans, enjoying Bobby Valentine yet? Bard as a starter? LMAO!



Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: December 11, 2011 10:34 am
 

Red Sox to experiment with Bard as a starter

Maybe if the Sox were able to get Hanley Ramirez back for Josh Beckett, I might take notice.

Yeah, because adding Hanley Ramirez to the mix would certainly solve all clubhouse issues.



Since: Jun 24, 2008
Posted on: December 11, 2011 9:08 am
 

Red Sox to experiment with Bard as a starter

Lots of people don't understand baseball.  The reason the bullpen collapsed late last year was because the starters were not good enough ALL year and the bullpen got overused.  The best way to fix the bullpen is to fix the starting rotation.  If the rotation averages six innings a game instead of five, then you've just erased 160 innings from the bullpen's load and it doesn't collapse in September.  See, it's all connected.


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