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In his most recent appearance for the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox, former big league pitcher Daniel Bard experience another painful outing in relief. He faced four batters without recording a single out, hitting two batters with pitches, surrendering a two-run double and an RBI single to the Minnesota Twins Triple-A affiliate in Rochester.
In the majors this season Bard was viewed as an experiment, attempting to transition from the bullpen where he was a dominate eighth inning pitcher for two years.
He made ten starts this year before being demoted to the minor leagues, as he held a 5.24 ERA, mainly due to his awful strikeout-to-walk ratio. In 55.0 innings of work, he struck out 34 and walked 37. He also hit eight batters, more than he had in the big leagues in the three years prior.
There’s no doubt that the concept of moving Bard into the rotation was a failure, and now the pitcher appears to have completely lost everything that made him special coming out of the bullpen. As the team attempts to get him back on track in the minor leagues, it’s very possible that Bard could be moved in a trade if another team entertains the idea of working on this experiment, namely the Chicago Cubs given the familiarity of Theo Epstein, who has plucked his former prospects from other teams before, such as first baseman Anthony Rizzo.
It’s hard to think right now that the future for Bard as a pitcher is anything but unclear. One of the pitches he threw in the outing was so wildly high that it glanced off the catcher’s mitt and struck the home plate umpire.