KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Jonathan Papelbon says Daniel Bard will be fine.
Chris Perez isn't so sure.
The outspoken Indians closer said Monday that he blames the Red Sox for Bard's struggles.
"Give the guy a role, and let him stay there," Perez said at Monday's All-Star interview session. "What are you trying to get out of him as a starter? I don't understand."
Bard served as Papelbon's setup man last year, but the Red Sox moved him to the rotation over the winter. They sent him to the minor leagues after 10 starts, and shortly thereafter moved him back to the bullpen.
Since then, Bard has had a few good outings, but just as many where he was completely unable to find the strike zone. Overall, in 13 appearances for Triple-A Pawtucket, he has an 8.16 ERA, with 14 hits and 10 walks in 14 1/3 innings.
"He's going to be fine," Papelbon insisted. "I really think he's going to be fine. He's a pretty mentally strong kid. Sitting with him in the bullpen, I saw the days he got beat up [last year], and how he came back from them."