No, not the Red Sox's bullpen -- yet. But probably soon. The Red Sox tried Daniel Bard as a starter this year, and Bard was terrible, just terrible. He wound up getting demoted to triple-A, and it was unclear whether he'd continue to work as a starter, or if he'd shift back to relief. A decision has been made:
Bard said he's no longer a starter. He believes he's back where he belongs as a reliever. He called Cherington to tell him. Both agree.— Joe McDonald (@ESPNJoeyMac) June 22, 2012
Bard on being a reliever: "Maybe that’s what I was meant to do and I’ll try to embrace it from here on out."— Joe McDonald (@ESPNJoeyMac) June 22, 2012
It was a worthwhile experiment, I think, starting Bard. It's good to find out whether a dominant reliever can be an effective starter. The evidence suggests that Bard can't. With the Red Sox this year, Bard posted 37 walks, eight hits batters, and 34 strikeouts. As a starter in 2007 in the minors, Bard posted 78 walks, eight hit batters, and 47 strikeouts. Read those numbers again. Now, 2007 was a long time ago, and those stats might not mean a thing, but it's hard to dismiss them as irrelevant given what Bard did with Boston earlier this year.
Bard will look for a groove in triple-A. Once he finds it, he'll return to the Red Sox, in the role that made him so successful. I don't know if Bard was genuinely mismanaged, but it's June 22 and the Red Sox have gotten answers to some big questions.