As Daniel Bard works through some mental and mechanical issues in the minor leagues, the team has been asked about their plans if he continues to struggle. As of now, the Red Sox do not plan to shut Bard down or send him to extended spring training. This comes after yet another bad outing for Bard at Double-A Portland.
Red Sox are not considering shutting down or sending Daniel Bard to extended Farrell said. Bard regularly in touch with team mental coach
— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) May 16, 2013
Bard was once one of the more promising young pitchers in the Red Sox organization. He started his Major League career in the bullpen with sights set on the starting rotation. When Bard finally got into the rotation, he wasn't the same pitcher. In 2012, Bard started 10 games. In those games, he was 4-6 with a 5.30 ERA. Even more troubling was the fact that he suddenly couldn't pitch in relief anymore either. As a reliever last season, Bard posted a 16.20 ERA in seven appearances.
Unfortunately, the young pitcher has not been able to work through his issues. According to Alex Speier of WEEI.com, Red Sox pitching coach Juan Nieves is worried.
“I’m concerned over, of course, how he’s doing mentally,” said Nieves. “You’re always concerned about a guy’s mental state when he’s engaged in an at-bat and doesn’t do well. It continues to be the same thing.”
Bard is still just 27 years old, but he is running out of time to work things out before he becomes labeled a bust. The Red Sox are clearly still holding out hope that he can regain some of the form he showed as a reliever from 2009-2011. If he can't, Bard may soon be out of work. He never reached the point of getting a contract extension, so he is still in his arbitration years. That means the Red Sox could part ways with Bard with little to no financial impact. They aren't there yet, though. But they soon could be.
Looking for fantasy baseball advice?