Daniel Bard is still a mess


Daniel Bard signed a minor-league contract with the Rangers after being let go by the Red Sox and Cubs last season, and the once-dominant reliever made his season debut yesterday at Single-A.

It did not go well. Bard faced four batters, plunking three of them and walking the other.

Bard had a combined 2.88 ERA with 213 strikeouts in 197 innings through his first three seasons with the Red Sox, including an excellent year as recently as 2011, but now he’s 29 years old and completely lost thanks to extreme control problems.

Last season in the minors he walked 27 batters and uncorked 11 wild pitches in 15 innings and things seem to be getting even worse. How sad.

Mike Fiers may not be ready for start of regular season due to back issue

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Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Tigers starter Mike Fiers is dealing with a back issue and may not be ready for the start of the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire characterized the injury as a “stiff back” and added, “Maybe a little bit of a bulging disk or something like that.”

Fiers, 32, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tigers in December. He has had a forgettable spring, yielding 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.

Fiers had a rotation spot locked up along with Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Francisco Liriano. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris were battling it out for the No. 5 spot. If Fiers opens the regular season on the 10-day disabled list, both could have spots in the rotation.