Remember when Daniel Bard was a dominant relief pitcher for the Boston Red Sox?
Well, it has been a long time (circa 2010) since he was a lights-out option in the bullpen, but Bard is apparently pulling out all of the stops in order to pursue a comeback with his new team. Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune is reporting that Bard is set to pitch in winter ball this off-season, and that Bard was quoted as saying that he “need(s) the innings… to have something going into spring training”.
This makes all the sense in the world, as Bard has come unglued in the past two seasons, and pitching on a real, live mound is probably the best way to come out of it. He had a catastrophic walk rate of 6.52 batters per 9 innings with the Red Sox in 2012, and things weren’t much better this year, prompting his release from Boston and a pick-up with old pal Theo Epstein in Chicago.
However, back when Bard was good, he was very good in posting a 1.93 ERA and a 9.16 K/9 over 74.2 innings in 2010. It’s pretty unlikely that he’ll return to that particular level of dominance, but at only 28 years old, much crazier things have happened in bullpens all across baseball.
Good luck, Mr. Bard.