Daniel Bard is healthy and hoping to reestablish himself in the Puerto Rican Winter League. But the experiment is not off to a very promising start.
According to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com, the 28-year-old walked five batters and gave up three earned runs Saturday in his third appearance for Criollos de Caguas. He threw multiple wild pitches in the inning and has now retired just one of the 13 hitters he’s faced since joining the winter ball team.
In three total relief appearances so far for Criollos de Caguas, Bard has surrendered seven earned runs on nine walks and four wild pitches. He has hit three batters. It’s not uncommon for struggling players — even those with major league experience — to be released from winter league teams midseason. And it sure seems like Bard will soon meet that fate.
Bard was put on waivers by the Red Sox in September and claimed a few days later by the Cubs.
The right-hander registered a 1.93 ERA across 74 2/3 innings for Boston in 2010, but he appeared in just two major league games this year and had a 6.46 ERA between rookie ball and Double-A. The Cubs will likely invite him to camp next spring, but he’ll be pitching for a minor league roster spot.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Mariners are among the teams that have contacted the Reds about outfielder Jay Bruce. The Mariners enter play Wednesday 51-48, six games out of first place in the AL West and 4.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot. Adding an impact bat like Bruce could help in their effort to reach the postseason.
Norichika Aoki and Seth Smith have handled the bulk of the playing time in left field. While Smith has hit well, Aoki has not. Bruce came into Wednesday’s game against the Giants batting .271/.324/.567 with 24 home runs and a league-best 78 RBI.
Bruce can become a free agent after the season if his controlling team declines his $13 million club option for the 2017 season by paying him a $1 million buyout. If he’s traded mid-season, his new team won’t be able to make him a qualifying offer, so the club option may be more enticing than it looks at first glance.
A third-inning two-run home run by Adam Rosales off of R.A. Dickey put the Padres up 2-0, but it also helped the Padres tie a National League record. The Padres have homered in 25 consecutive games, matching the 1998 Braves, the 1994 Tigers, and the 1941 Yankees. The major league record is 27, set by the 2002 Rangers.
The Padres hit three in total on Wednesday in an 8-4 victory against the Blue Jays. One of those dingers was an eighth-inning solo shot by rookie Alex Dickerson, who has now homered in four consecutive games himself. The one he hit on Monday is worth watching, as it got into the upper deck at the Rogers Centre.
As the Padres recently traded Melvin Upton, Jr. to the Jays, Dickerson is likely going to see regular playing time. That’s especially true if he keeps hitting like this.