Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 6/23/12

Daniel Bard is going back to his roots.

Bard announced Friday that he has decided he should return to the bullpen, the same conclusion reached by the Red Sox front office two weeks after the right-hander was demoted to Triple-A Pawtucket. Bard said he reached the decision after making a few relief outings in the minors.

"I told them I wanted to do those short outings out of the 'pen," Bard said. "The original plan was to do that and get back to starting down here. I didn't have any plan in my head of what was going to come of it. After going and doing it a couple of times, it felt like I belonged. It felt like that's what I was meant to do, pitch late in games. I think my skillset and experience is built for that type of role. It's just a feeling. There's conviction to it.

"The feeling of everyone I've talked to, and the way I feel myself, is that I can be a good starter. I know I can be a good starter. But I know I'm already a great reliever. Maybe that's what I was meant to do, so just try and embrace it from here on out."

Bard didn't reach this decision lightly, particularly after spending the winter preparing to start. Bard went 5-6 with a 5.24 ERA as a starter. His velocity had dropped into the low-90s, and his control was spotty.

"That was the thing. I didn't want it to be a spur of the moment decision," Bard said. "Once I started feeling that way, I gave it four or five days, talked to a lot of people I trust, talked to my wife, just to make sure that if I told (the Red Sox) that, that that was what I wanted to do, that it was going to be a final decision. It's something I'm very convicted in saying. After giving it a few days, the feeling only got stronger."

Bard's timing was good, because general manager Ben Cherington was planning to make a call of his own.

"A big part of our offseason challenge was figuring out the rotation and Daniel stepped up willingly to accept the challenge of being a part of it," Cherington said. "We think the experience in the long run will benefit him, but right now he will focus on becoming an impact member of our bullpen again."

PLAYERS: Daniel Bard
TEAMS: Boston Red Sox
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