TORONTO, CANADA - JUNE 3: Kelly Shoppach #10 and Adrian Gonzalez #28 talk to Daniel Bard #51 of the Boston Red Sox after hitting Edwin Encarnacion of the Toronto Blue Jays during MLB action at The Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)

Daniel Bard Switched Back To Relieving

Daniel Bard is no longer a starting pitcher, after an experiment blew up in the Red Sox's faces.

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Daniel Bard Back In The Bullpen

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:

Added Bard:

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.

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Red Sox Demote Daniel Bard To Minors

Last time he took the mound, Daniel Bard walked six Blue Jays and hit two Blue Jays. He faced 13 Blue Jays. This was out of the ordinary for Bard, but only by a little; over 55 innings, he's hit eight batters and walked 37 batters while striking out 34 batters. The ratios are all terrible, so perhaps this news is unsurprising:

Bard was one of three high-profile bullpen-to-rotation conversions this season. For the White Sox, Chris Sale has been outstanding. For the Rangers, Neftali Feliz has gotten hurt. For the Red Sox, Bard has been miserable, throwing less than 60 percent of his pitches for strikes. He's been wild, his velocity has been way down, and his results have been poor.

So Bard's off to a lower-pressure environment. We can't say for sure that he'll never cut it as a starter, but right now he's not big-league starter material, and it's worth noting that he was also ugly in his rotation work in the minors. He's been highly successful as a reliever, and that may very well be his long-term role. That's a lot more likely than it was a couple months ago.

It was worth it for the Red Sox to try Bard as a starter. This is also the right move to make. The Red Sox would very much like to make the playoffs, and out of the rotation, Daniel Bard wasn't helping them get there.

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