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Saturday, February 22, 2020

MLB Rumors: Ex-Red Sox pitcher Daniel Bard joins Rockies amid comeback attempt

Daniel Bard’s comeback dream might become a reality.

The former Boston Red Sox pitcher has signed a minor-league contract with the Colorado Rockies, The Denver Post’s Patrick Saunders reported Friday.

Bard was a Red Sox first-round draft pick in 2006 and spent four seasons with Boston from 2009 to 2013. The hard-throwing right-hander posted a 1.93 ERA with 76 strikeouts in 2010 and appeared to be in line to succeed Jonathan Papelbon as the Red Sox’ closer.


QLE Posted: February 22, 2020 at 01:42 AM | 14 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: comebacks, daniel bard, rockies

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   1. Rough Carrigan Posted: February 22, 2020 at 11:02 PM (#5926048)
I still remember him at the height of his career striking out some yankee (maybe Nick Swisher) on a mid 90's two seam fastball that moved like that old Trac Ball toy and completely humiliated the hitter. At his best Bard was terrific.
   2. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: February 22, 2020 at 11:21 PM (#5926049)
By all accounts he is just a terrific dude too. Everyone around the Sox seemed to love him. I doubt this will work out but god it would be great if it did.
   3. PreservedFish Posted: February 23, 2020 at 08:20 AM (#5926061)
Yeah, he was one of those pitchers with crazy loopy wiffleball movement and you never understood how anyone could ever hit him.
   4. Greg Pope Posted: February 23, 2020 at 11:44 AM (#5926081)
Did he have an injury, or did he just lose it? I'm pretty sure I had him on my fantasy team in 2012 and don't remember hearing a reason why he was so bad.
   5. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Fred Posted: February 23, 2020 at 12:10 PM (#5926083)
They tried converting him to SP, and it really, really didn't take.

   6. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: February 23, 2020 at 12:36 PM (#5926089)
Bard also completely lost the thread as a starter at the beginning of his minor league career (75 IP, 78 walks, 8 HBP, 27 WP in 2007). Something about the (really stupid) attempt to convert him into a starter broke whatever it was that had gotten repaired when the Sox moved him into relief.

In college he had his most successful stretch when the coaching staff told him to just throw 2 and 4 seam fastballs and forget everything else. No way he still has the stuff to get away with that in 2020, sadly.

Bard was one of my favorite ballplayers. The UNC team with a starting three of Andrew Miller, Bard, and Robert Woodward (the school's winningest pitcher) was glorious.
   7. SandyRiver Posted: February 24, 2020 at 07:54 AM (#5926137)
He was part of the late season collapse in 2011 though I think it was from overwork, as he lost a yard from his fastball. Guys who couldn't touch the 98-99 mph heater were crushing his 94s that September.
   8. villageidiom Posted: February 24, 2020 at 09:04 AM (#5926142)
They tried converting him to SP, and it really, really didn't take.
Bard wanted to convert to being a starter and the team reluctantly agreed, IIRC. And then something like 10 starts later Bard wanted to go back to relief, and the team agreed, partly because the starting results were so bad.

I hope he does well in his comeback. Good guy.
   9. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: February 24, 2020 at 11:03 AM (#5926168)
I may be wrong but I think not many pitchers have returned to being good after being diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome. Wasn't that what ended Craig Hansen's career all of a sudden?
   10. Tom Nawrocki Posted: February 24, 2020 at 12:33 PM (#5926185)
At first I thought this made a lot of sense, because Bard was a local boy who went to Cherry Creek High School. Then I realized that was former catcher Josh Bard, not Daniel Bard. Oh, well.
   11. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 24, 2020 at 12:44 PM (#5926189)

#9 I don't know but Matt Harvey had it.
   12. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Fred Posted: February 24, 2020 at 04:06 PM (#5926240)
[8] hmm "the team reluctantly agreed" isn't how I remember it.

I guess blame Bobby V? That usually works.
Eventually Bard and Cherington exchanged thoughts and ideas about the pitcher's career, but it wasn't until the Red Sox hired Bobby Valentine as the club's new manager that Bard's new role was set in stone.

Valentine and Bard spoke on the phone, and during that conversation the manager simply asked the 26-year-old what he wanted to do.

"I told him, 'I want to start or close and I think I can do either one well. It's whatever you guys think will help the team.' It turns out they think starting is the way to go."

Then Papelbon landed a four-year deal with the Philadelphia Phillies worth $50 million in November. Bard thought that would be the end of his starting career because the Red Sox would need him to close.

"When Pap left, I kind of figured they would forget [the decision] ever happened and move on because they wouldn't want to lose both of us from the bullpen," explained Bard.

But shortly after Papelbon's exit, Cherington called Bard and explained that the plan hadn't changed, and the GM proved that when he acquired reliever Mark Melancon and closer Andrew Bailey in two separate trades.

Project Bard was a go.
   13. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: February 24, 2020 at 05:22 PM (#5926253)
in looking through his last few years in the minors, he manufactured some bizarre numbers:
in 2014 for Hickory, he is credited with 2/3 of an inning pitched, no hits, but 13 runs (!!). 9 BB and 7 HBP (!!)
in 2017 for Mets Gulf league, again 2/3 of an inning pitched, no hits, 4 runs, 5 BB, 2 HBP

sounds Blassian

(at least his hits/9 is impressive)
   14. villageidiom Posted: February 24, 2020 at 05:41 PM (#5926256)
[8] hmm "the team reluctantly agreed" isn't how I remember it.
In a Bill James comment many years ago, he brought up a case where they tried to convert a reliever to a starter. He said that the team eventually decided that if the team can accommodate what the player wants to do then they need to try it, because ultimately the player's success depends on his buy-in to what he's doing. James indicated that this was something the team did not believe at first but eventually came to accept.

(James never said he was referring to Bard, but basically Bard was the guy who fit the profile of his comments.)

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