Hey, does anybody remember Daniel Bard?
I thought some of you might say yes, so in that case, i’ve decided to update you guys on his status. Bard is still on planet earth in case you were wondering, his exact location is somewhere around Portland, Maine as he rediscovers how to throw that thing they call a baseball.
All kidding aside, according to Alex Speier from WEEI, Bard was placed on the DL with a strained abdominal muscle on June 9th and has not returned to action since. He should be recovered and getting back to pitching soon, but for now it’s just bullpen sessions. In just 12 2/3 innings of work with Double-A Portland, Bard has a 6.39 ERA and an eye-popping 17 walks to just 6 strikeouts. Clearly he hasn’t quite figured it out yet, as the notorious control problems we saw of him last time he was at the major league level have stuck around. In that last appearance against Houston on April 27th, he faced two batters, and walked them both.(Hard to do considering Houston has struck out a league high 818 times, and is in the bottom third for BB’s)
I mean it’s not like Daniel Bard and walks haven’t gone hand in hand his whole career, they are practically best buds, but it got out of hand. Back in 2010, Bard was a dominant 8th inning setup reliever, arguably the best in the bigs. He posted 76 K’s to 30 BB’s in 74 2/3 innings pitched that year with 34 holds. The following year his ERA was a bit higher, but regardless, he had another 32 holds with 74 K’s and 24 BB’s.
It wasn’t until the Red Sox gave Bard the Joba Chamberlain treatment when his walks began skyrocketing. Last season as a starter, 43 walks in just 59 1/3 innings. I am not always right, I mean i’m usually like 90%, but I did not want Bard to be messed with like the Yankees did to Chamberlain when converting him to a starter. I saw it happen with him when he was carving out a niche for himself in New York as a prized looking setup guy. His rookie year he threw 24 innings and had a 0.38 ERA and they thought, ‘Wow,we should try our best to mess this up.’ Two years later, Chamberlain started 31 games and had an ERA of 4.75 with a WHIP of 1.57 while walking 76 batters in 157 1/3 innings. His K/BB ration went from 5.67 in 2007, 3.03 in 2008. all the way down to 1.75 in the 2009 (The same year he started 31 games). His career has gone downhill since their little experiment, ask any Yankee fan what they think about him, I guarantee there’s no love there.
I sincerely hope that Sox’ fans don’t feel the same negativity towards Bard. Frustration? Most certainly. But he had more of a track record of success then a guy like Joba, which leads me to believe there is hope for a career resurrection. Your guess is as good as mine as far as when, or if he will be back and in what type of role. Bard’s been slightly forgot about and left in the dark these past couple months, so I thought i’d shed some light on him.