The line on a transaction is always just a simple statement and so was this one. The Texas Rangers have released Daniel Bard.
This has a tinge of both sadness and reality.
Bard was the next great for Boston. A devastating fastball was Bard’s calling card and he was capable of changing off that. I once saw him totally freeze Alex Rodriguez with a leg wobbling change for a called third strike. Bard had it all and was set to be a big time reliever. The Red Sox had other ideas.
The Bard experiment as a starter was a disaster.
In ten starts Bard went 4-6 and posted an ERA of 5.30. Dreadful? The dreadful part was his WHIP that ballooned to 1.62 thanks to 36 walks in a mere 52.1 innings. Bard lost his control, his confidence and some heat.
Bard made the grand tour of Red Sox minor league teams attempting to resuscitate his career. Portland, Pawtucket, Lowell and the Gulf Coast League Red Sox. Nothing worked and his skill set deteriorated even further. The Red Sox said “No Mas” and Bard was gone.
Theo Epstein took a chance. After all, his regime drafted Bard back in 2006. This was a low risk move on a power arm. It didn’t work. Bard moved to Texas and the Rangers. Born in Texas — maybe the home soil will help? It didn’t.
Bard has been released by Texas after a short stay at Hickory in the South Atlantic League. His last line is one that is startling. In four games and 0.2 innings Bard managed to walk nine and hit seven more. His ERA was 175.50 and his WHIP 13.500. It is over – or is it?
Just maybe Bard will get a shot with an Indy team and like, say a Scott Kazmir, and suddenly find that magic – and control – that vanished? If it does, he will no longer be an addition to that stable of what could have been.
Keep Bard firmly planted in mind when prospects are discussed or projections are made on a sample performance of the latest and greatest to appear in uniform.