McAdam: Daniel Bard Could Return To Red Sox Bullpen

We know that the Boston Red Sox are in pretty good shape with Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, and Clay Buchholz leading the starting rotation. There are question marks after them, and the Red Sox have been searching for answers this spring. One candidate to start is Daniel Bard, who has made 192 major league appearances, all in relief. But Sean McAdam writes that the 26-year-old righty could return to the bullpen.

One Red Sox staff member has told others outside the organization that, when all is said and done, Alfredo Aceves and Felix Doubront will have spots in the rotation, with Daniel Bard returning to the bullpen.

On Tuesday night, about an hour after Bard had expressed satisfaction that he had taken a step forward, Valentine, in his post-game remarks, did seemingly everything he could to question Bard's suitability for the rotation.

Across Florida, a number of scouts have made the observation that they think the Sox would be better off with Bard back in his customary eighth inning role.

This spring, Bard has ten walks and six strikeouts. Aceves has zero walks and eight strikeouts. Doubront has five walks and eight strikeouts. It's only spring - Lester, for example, has five walks and three strikeouts - so decisions shouldn't be based on just the numbers, but the Red Sox also apparently haven't been thrilled with how Bard has looked, and that matters. Bard isn't guaranteed to return to the bullpen, but that is a very good possibility.

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