I was intrigued when I heard the chatter about I was intrigued when I heard the chatter about

Is Daniel Bard Ready to be a Starter?

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I was intrigued when I heard the chatter about Daniel Bard sliding into the starting rotation next year.  I believe it was Lou Merloni who brought this subject up.  Why not?  Bard is young and has a live arm.  As Adrian Gonzalez would say, God knows we need another starter.  What makes this scenario even more intriguing is that Bard is very interested in converting to a full time starter. 

We tried this before with Jonathan Papelbon and it failed quickly.  I think it would be different with Bard.  He has a three pitch arsenal and well above velocity on his fastball.  This transition could also give a huge boost to his confidence, which was his downfall in the past month and a half of the season.  He was never the same after blowing a comfortable four run lead against Toronto.  The Texas Rangers tried it this past pre season with their closer, Neftali Feliz.  After a few shaky starts, Feliz starting to get into the groove.  It appeared that the Rangers were going to make him a full time starter, but they couldn’t find anyone to fill his closer shoes.  The Red Sox are in a similar position with the uncertainty of Jonathan Papelbon’s status.  If Papelbon does leave, the Sox only option would be to slot Bard in as the closer.  Do I think he could handle it.  Right now I would answer that as a big NO.  But, whats the alternative?  Bobby Jenks?  Holy fatman with a goatee Batman, are you kidding me? 

Imagine having a starter with a 98-100 mph fastball in the rotation.  I wouldn’t mind the Sox having a Justin Verlander type.  Now , before you start screaming, I am by no means saying that Bard can even be mentioned in the same breath as Verlander, but if Bard can pump out 98-100 mph fastballs from the first inning to the seventh or eighth, then it is worth exploring.  Don’t you think?  

Food for thought as the long off season of second guessing begins.

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