Is Daniel Bard Better Off in the ‘Pen?


Okay so I know this topic is pretty well covered and you’re probably sick of hearing about it but I just read an article from CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman and I had to comment on it.

First off the article loses its credibility in the opening line when Heyman says “In the wake of Daniel Bard‘s atrocious start…” It wasn’t a start it was a terrible decision by our new manager Bobby V to shuffle him around and give him the nod in the sixth inning when he made it clear that he’s trying to find a routine.

Starting Pitchers as much as anybody are creatures of habit. Their routines become vital to success on the mound. Ask any starter and they will tell you, they all have different game day routines but each of them are equally important. So this ones on Bobby V, being the veteran “baseball guy” that he is he should know this.

Jon Heyman goes on to quote an AL Scout saying this..

"Bard should be in the pen,” the A.L. scout said. “He’s a thrower, not a pitcher. And he’s had success in the pen. I’d have made him the closer once (Jonathan) Papelbon left.”"

Again, I disagree. I don’t think Daniel Bard has the makeup of a closer. It takes a different type of person to pitch in the ninth and Bard has shown in the past that he’s not that guy. He has a chance to be successful in the rotation if he is given the chance to adapt without Bobby tinkering with him. His fastball and slider are above average pitches while his change up needs some work, does that make him a “thrower” not a pitcher?

Heyman again throws his credibility out the window when he says this..

"Ironically, Bard got his promotion to the rotation after struggling in the bullpen last September."

That’s just simply false. Bard did struggle in September along with most of the Sox pitchers but that’s not why he’s being converted. The Red Sox lost two of their starting pitchers to Tommy John surgery last season before Bard came to the team asking for the opportunity to make the transition and I’m on the bandwagon with this one. It’s becoming quite common for teams to convert their best relievers to starters. They get more out of them as starters, it’s a pretty simple philosophy. Some make the transition while others don’t, but to say that the Red Sox are making a mistake based on one bad outing is premature. Let the kid get another start and see how things go, if he gets shelled again maybe you take a step back but until then he deserves a chance.

The point here isnt to say that Bard will definitly be a starter in April because we dont know that. The point is it’s unfair to say that he shouldnt start based on one bad outing in relief.

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