Former Red Sox pitching prospect Daniel Bard has had a rough go of it with the Hickory Crawdads, the Single-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers. The 28-year-old right-hander allowed four runs without recording an out in Sunday’s appearance against the Lakewood Blueclaws, pushing his ERA up to 175.50 in two-thirds of an inning.
Perhaps more impressively, Bard has allowed 13 runs all without allowing a hit. Against the Blueclaws, Bard walked two and hit two batters, pushing his total over four appearances up to nine and seven, respectively.
The control issues are nothing new for Bard. In 59 1/3 innings at the big league level for the Red Sox in 2012, Bard walked 43 batters. He walked two batters in an inning of work in the big leagues last season, and 27 in 15 1/3 innings in the minors. Bard suffered from a strained abdomen, which knocked him out for more than three months last season, and underwent thoracic outlet surgery this past January.
MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosh reports that the Cardinals are shutting down pitcher Carlos Martínez from throwing for two weeks because his shoulder strength isn’t where it should have been at this point. Langosch added that an MRI showed no structural damage in Martínez’s right shoulder.
Interestingly, president of baseball operations John Mozeliak didn’t sound too happy with Martínez offseason training regimen. Per Mark Saxon of The Athletic, Mozeliak said, “Obviously, there’s a history with Carlos’ shoulder and it would be probably in everybody’s best interest if he maintained a constant or perpetual approach to that program.”
Martínez, 27, battled oblique and shoulder injuries last year. He accrued just 118 2/3 innings, making just 18 starts. He was moved to the bullpen when he returned from the disabled list in August and finished out the season in that role. Still, Martínez managed a 3.11 ERA with 117 strikeouts and 60 walks.
Langosch reported last week that the Cardinals were considering using Martínez in relief again in 2019. The latest news may push the Cardinals to indeed use Martínez out of the bullpen once again. He will be reevaluated in early March, but there is a chance he won’t be ready for Opening Day.