Daniel Bard throws two wild pitches, blows save at Triple-A

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Daniel Bard’s struggles at Triple-A continued yesterday, as he blew a two-run save by allowing two hits and uncorking two wild pitches in the ninth inning.

Bard and the Red Sox continue to insist that they haven’t given up on him returning as a starter, but since a demotion to the minors he’s made one start followed by four straight relief appearances. And overall Bard has a 7.36 ERA in 7.1 innings for Pawtucket, although that comes with a strong 10/2 K/BB ratio to suggest he’s perhaps not pitching all that horribly.

Either way, he’s seemingly not close to rejoining the Red Sox and definitely not close to doing so as a starter.

Michael Brantley has ankle surgery, to be sidelined 4-5 months

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The Cleveland Indians just announced that outfielder Michael Brantley underwent arthroscopic ankle surgery yesterday, aimed at stabilizing ligaments. He’s expected to be able to resume baseball activities in 4-5 months, which is likely to delay the beginning of his 2018 season.

Brantley only played in 90 games for the Indians in 2017, sitting out most of August and all of September, but returning for the postseason. He injured the ankle in a game against the Rockies on August 8 and it never did get quite right, as his 1-for-11 line in the ALDS suggested. On the season as a whole Brantley hit .299/.357/.444 with nine homers and 52 driven in.

Brantley’s contract expires with the 2017 season, but there is a 2018 team option at a relatively reasonable $11 million. While he has only played 101 games in the past two seasons combined due to injuries, his strong performance from 2012-2015, and his status as a team leader, will likely lead the Indians to exercise that option.