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.
After another miserable season that saw him get dropped by the Red Sox and claimed off waivers by the Cubs right-hander Daniel Bard told Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune that he’s considering pitching winter ball:
There’s a good chance of it happening. We at least need the innings, just to have something going into spring training next year.
Bard has logged just 17 total innings this season, including zero in the Cubs organization, and hasn’t seen game action since walking four Single-A hitters in one inning back on August 31.
For the Cubs he represented a low-cost flier, so claiming Bard off waivers in the hopes they can still turn him around is a worthwhile move, but he’s nearing the full-on reclamation project stage after back-to-back years filled with extreme control problems and injuries.
Boston made a pair of key roster moves, placing shortstop Stephen Drew on the seven-day disabled list for concussions and optioning right-hander Daniel Bard to Double-A.
Drew hasn’t played since being hit on the helmet by a pitch on March 7, struggling with dizziness and other post-concussion symptoms. Jose Iglesias will step in as the Opening Day shortstop.
Bard’s nightmare 2012 season has continued this spring with seven runs allowed in eight innings, although he has managed 10 strikeouts compared to four walks. He actually looked good early in camp, but has really struggled recently. Clayton Mortensen is expected to take the final spot in the Red Sox’s bullpen as they wait for Bard to show signs of being the dominant setup man from 2009-2011. Bard hasn’t pitched at Double-A since 2008, when he threw 50 innings with a 1.99 ERA and 64 strikeouts.