New Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine confirmed Sunday what many have suspected: Daniel Bard is going to be tried as a starter during spring training.
Bard was drafted as a starter out of the University of North Carolina in 2006 before being moved to the bullpen after a brutal debut season at Single-A in 2007. He’s open to being transitioned back, and the Red Sox are hopeful of catching lightning in a bottle.
Bard averaged 97.3 mph with his fastball in 2011. He’ll probably scale that back some, and begin implementing his curve and slider a bit more, but he has great ability and a decent chance to succeed.
If it doesn’t work out in spring camp, no harm done — they’ll simply move him back to his late-innings role.