Tagged: Daniel Bard

Can Alex Wilson Stick?


When John Lackey landed on the DL with a right bicep strain, the Red Sox decided to call up reliever Alex Wilson to add some length to the bullpen with Alfredo Aceves moving to the starting rotation. A lot has changed since then, Lackey has returned, Aceves is gone, Daniel Bard and Ryan Lavarnway have both had brief cups of coffee with the team, and Joel Hanrahan hit the DL and since returned. Through all of that Alex Wilson has been there and pitched surprisingly well. In 6 appearances he’s pitched 6 shutout innings allowing just 4 hits and 3 walks and has struck out 4. Now he hasn’t pitched in any high leverage situations, but still numbers he’s still been impressive. Clayton Mortensen whose been in a similar role has not pitched quite as well. In 7 appearances he’s pitched 9.2 innings allowing 6 runs on 9 hits and 2 walks and has struck out 11. So the question is once the team is fully healthy could Alex Wilson still be with the team? Alfredo Aceves is gone leaving an open bullpen spot and he’s out-pitched another pitcher in a similar role, so I believe he has the ability to remain with the team and contribute in an even bigger role than he’s in right now. We’ll find out soon out his fate with Craig Breslow and Franklin Morales both returning soon. I hope that he will survive the return of the two lefties and continue to contribute to the team.

 

Bard Gets the Call


Daniel Bard

Daniel Bard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The bullpen has been heavily taxed the past few days and could use a fresh arm. Enter Daniel Bard. The troubled righty has made his way back to the big league team after knuckleballer Steven Wright was optioned to Pawtucket. This is exciting, because everyone, including myself, has wondered what in the world went wrong with Daniel Bard. First here was the horrific September 2011, then the failed starter experiment, and then the majority of the 2012 season in AAA. He’s spent this year in AA, so it looked like he was never going to return to the Bard of old. Now he’s back though, so maybe there is hope.

 

Personally, I’m excited to see Bard in action. I think he’ll assume the Alex Wilson role, which will presumably be opened when John Lackey is called up on Sunday and Wilson is likely the one to be sent down. So we’ll see Bard in relatively easy situations just to get his feet wet again. Unfortunately for him, he probably won’t stay up here for very long with the impending returns of Craig Breslow and Franklin Morales. There could be hope for him though with Andrew Miller’s issues and Alfredo Aceves’ attitude. I did talk to Providence Journal reporter, Tim Britton, about this and he told me that Bard stay will be short and where he ends up next ( AA or AAA) will be determined by his performance in the majors.

 

Bard Gets the Call


The bullpen has been heavily taxed the past few days and could use a fresh arm. Enter Daniel Bard. The troubled righty has made his way back to the big league team after knuckleballer Steven Wright was optioned to Pawtucket. This is exciting, because everyone, including myself, has wondered what in the world went wrong with Daniel Bard. First here was the horrific September 2011, then the failed starter experiment, and then the majority of the 2012 season in AAA. He’s spent this year in AA, so it looked like he was never going to return to the Bard of old. Now he’s back though, so maybe there is hope.

Personally, I’m excited to see Bard in action. I think he’ll assume the Alex Wilson role, which will presumably be opened when John Lackey is called up on Sunday and Wilson is likely the one to be sent down. So we’ll see Bard in relatively easy situations just to get his feet wet again. Unfortunately for him, he probably won’t stay up here for very long with the impending returns of Craig Breslow and Franklin Morales. There could be hope for him though with Andrew Miller’s issues and Alfredo Aceves’ attitude. I did talk to Providence Journal reporter, Tim Britton, about this and he told me that Bard stay will be short and where he ends up next ( AA or AAA) will be determined by his performance in the majors.

Dice-K Back to DL; Gomez Gets the Call; Jenks Let Go


A busy day for the Red Sox as they made 4 roster moves. Daisuke Matsuzaka was placed on the DL with a stiff neck, Mauro Gomez was recalled from AAA, Bobby Jenks was released, and the contract of Justin Germano opted out of his contract.

Dice-K’s returning right back where his 2012 season began, the DL. This time it’s for something a lot less serious, just a stiff neck. Still it’s another set back in the up and down career of Daisuke Matsuzaka. In all honesty though, I think this is best for the team as he became the least reliable member of the pitching staff. At this point I’m sure  everyone would rather see Franklin Morales and Aaron Cook take the mound, then see Dice-K at this point. With a somewhat under performing and overcrowded pitching  staff you can’t have mediocre performances like Dice-K was giving, so I truly believe that the team is better with Dice-K not on it.

Now to replace Dice-K the Sox added some needed infield depth with corner infielder Mauro Gomez. He’s a true first basemen, but has a little experience as a third basemen and that’s where Bobby intends to use him with Middlebrooks’ health in question. He’s more depth for a short  bench that only has Brent Lillibridge and Kelley Shoppach. Gomez  signed as a free agent with the Sox this year. Aside from a quick stint with the big league club he’s been in Pawtucket all year and has played exceptionally well. With a slash line of .311/.366/.614 and 19 home runs and 55 RBI he earned the starting DH role in the International League All Star Game. He probably won’t play much, because he’s there for a worst case scenario. He’s a good hitter, but his lacking defense will keep him away from the starting lineup.

Probably the most surprising the news of  the day is the release of Bobby Jenks. The only reason it is so surprising is, because I forgot we even had him. Bobby Jenks’ tenure with the BoSox is the definition of a good idea gone bad. The deal was universally praised by baseball analysts from far and wide. The bullpen looked unstoppable with a 7,8,9  combo of Daniel Bard, Jenks, and Jonathon Papelbon what could wrong? The answer was everything. As you know none of those 3 are with the team anymore and now Bard is only one left in the entire organization with Pap in Philly and now Jenks getting cut. Everything with Jenks as Red Sox was a disaster. From his terrible outings, to the injuries, and then the surgery death scare, and lastly the DUI, he could never get his life together. I do feel terrible for the guy though. He went from a dominant closer to almost out of the game. I’ll be amazed if he gets another chance anywhere, but I sure hope he does. He doesn’t deserve the fate given to him, but he may never get another chance again.

Lastly, Justin Germano has decided to exercise his opt out clause for his contract. The Sox now have 48 hours to decide whether they want to add him to the 25 man roster or let him go.  Some people believe Clayton Mortensen may be sent down to make room for the reliever. I doubt a move will be made, because Mortensen’s been effective in his time with the team. He’ll likely be let go on Thursday and become a free agent, and I wish him the best.

Winning For the First Time


For the first time this year the Boston Red Sox have had a winning record. They may still be in last, but they’re only a 1/2 game from fourth and if the score of the Yankee game holds they’ll be a game behind the Yankees for third in the division. The Sox have been playing really well lately and if it keeps up they could be in first very soon. Today to get over the .500 they had to take down Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers. I’ll be honest I didn’t have much faith, especially with Bard starting, but they pulled it out with a 6-3 victory knocking out Verlander after just 6 innings. Bard pitched decently, he went 5 1/3 giving up 2 runs on 5 hits. He didn’t dominate, but he got the job done. Even though he was able to pick up his 5th win (4th as a starter) I’m still not in love with him as a starter, as I’ve mentioned before. I guess I’m warming up to him a little because he’s winning, but I still turn into a head vase when I watch him pitch. All in all the game was good, Nava had a great AB every time he stepped in the box, Papi was huge, and the bottom of the lineup contributed some key hits as well.
Now that I’m done recapping the game I’d like to talk about my absence from the blog. It  was just pure laziness in case you wanted to know. Now to prevent that I’m setting up a schedule almost to keep me on track a little bit. Every Sunday I will preview the week ahead for the Sox, on Thursdays I will write an opionion article, and lastly I’m going to some kind of rant where I’ll  usually just complain about what’s wrong with the team, but offer no real solution. I don’t have a date set for those, but any ideas would be welcome in the comments below or on twitter @thebestsoxblog. So that’s pretty much it. Good night  and thank you for wasting your time on my blog.

Why The Daniel Bard Experiment Must End


I wasn’t a fan from the start. The closer in waiting turned into a starter. Why? I’m not sure.  He didn’t even like at first, but now he won’t let it go. He’s steered Bobby V away from using him in the bullpen and convinced him to let him start. Sadly those starts have been lack luster, and for me last night was the final straw for me.  The Daniel Bard experiment must end. Last night against arguably the worst team in baseball, the Kansas City Royals, Bard faltered late as usual. The big problem with Bard is he doesn’t have the stamina to go late into ballgames, and with a struggling pen, Bobby is going to push him to go deep which he’s incapable of doing. Once he gets his pitch count in the 80’s he becomes a different pitcher. He has problems locating his pitches and tries to aim his pitches, which only gets you trouble. Last night was just a perfect example of how Bard’s start will go all year. Be decent for the first 5 or so innings and then watch it all go downhill. That’s not going to help you win games. What will help you win games is a shutdown, hard throwing reliever. Sadly, the Sox don’t have that anymore, because now he’s a joke of a starter. There’s guys the Sox can use to replace Bard. Ideally I’d like the Sox to trade for another pitcher, but they don’t need to. Andrew Miller looked nice in his first outing back, but he can be wild so he can’t be fully trusted yet. Once Aaron Cook gets back he’d be a nice option, and of course everyone’s favorite player, Daisuke Matsuzaka. He could come back this month, and this point he’d be a welcome addition to this struggling rotation.  I’d take enigma that Dice-K can be over Bard any day. While people continue the “Fire Bobby V” movement, I want a “Put Bard Back in the Pen” movement, but that might take a lot to put in a hash tag.

Why Bard Needs to Close


Tonight has proven a point that I’ve believed for a long time. Daniel Bard needs to be the closer. Against the Minnesota Twins he worked out of a runner on third with one out jam. That’s a closer quality and Bobby needs to see that. If Aceves blows the lead that should be the final straw. Even if Aceves survives today, there’s no guarantee he’ll last tomorrow as he has struggled through these first few weeks.I don’t see how it could do any harm to the team. The Sox have three legitimate starting options beyond Bard. Aaron Cook, who has dominated AAA, needs to be called up before May first, otherwise he’s gone. Junichi Tazawa has been a pleasant surprise and we know he can start. Alfredo Aceves could simply swap roles with Bard and he won’t have to whine anymore. Although Bard has promise, with a pen is disarray you need to best utilize what you have and Bard is a top tier reliever which can’t be ignored. I know Bard isn’t exactly chomping at the bit to hop back into the pen, but he seems to be on board with whatever is best for the team. As I write this the Sox just won, barely. Aceves got the final three outs, but there wouldn’t have been a lead without Bard. Right now Bard is the best option for the Sox and the Sox need to act upon it. Bard can literally save the season.