Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Quick Decline of Daniel Bard

Daniel Bard from 2009-11 was one of the best relief pitchers in baseball. He rarely gave up any hits and struck out a bunch of batters. But in 2012 he suddenly struggled when he was changed into a starting pitcher. He struggled with his command and didn't strike out many batters, was eventually returned to the bullpen, and then continued to struggle in Pawtucket with his control.

In 2013 he struggled in 2 MLB relief appearances pitching 1 inning total before going back to Pawtucket. He went as far as Low-A Lowell due to his struggles in the high minors. What makes this more shocking is that he is 28 years old and should be entering, not exiting his prime.

But who is to blame? Is it the Red Sox for trying to turn him into a starter? Or is it Bard not commanding his pitches. His downfall began in 2011 after a 2.05 ERA in the first half he declined to a 5.05 second half ERA and hitters hitting .256/.396/.376 in the Red Sox historic September collapse in the 2011 season and a 11/9 K/BB ratio.

He was Designated for Assignment by the Red Sox (Link) this week hoping he can clear waivers to return to the minors and regain his form. But is it too late?

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