When the Red Sox demoted Daniel Bard to Triple-A Pawtucket in June, the hope was that he would be able to straighten out his mechanics and get back on track against lesser competition. Things haven’t exactly worked out that way.
Bard has a 7.45 ERA and 30/29 K/BB ratio over 29 innings in 28 relief appearances with the PawSox. The 27-year-old right-hander allowed just an unearned run and two walks over five innings in his last five appearances in July, but has an awful 12.71 ERA and 6/12 K/BB ratio over 5 2/3 innings this month.
Despite his lack of progress and continued control issues, Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald hears that Bard will be back with the Red Sox this season.
Bard clearly isn’t fixed and while we have no way of knowing what is going on inside of his head, bringing him back to the big leagues only to see him struggle again may not be beneficial to him in the long-run. Given how ugly the situation already is in Boston, this could be an unnecessary risk.
Bard, 27, posted a 5.24 ERA and 34/37 K/BB ratio over 55 innings in 10 starts and one relief appearance prior to being demoted to the minors.
The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.
Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.
While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.