|Starting pitcher Daniel Bard #51 of the Boston Red Sox was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket on Tuesday. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)|
After last seasons epic collapse, the 26 year old setup reliever approached management and proposed the idea of his transition from a top bullpen guy to a starter. Needless to say at this point, it hasn't been as successful as either side had envisioned.
A complete loss of command (37 BB/34 K) and a loss of nearly 4 mph on his once blazing fastball has been a recipe for disaster in the number five spot of the Red Sox rotation.
The numbers more than support the decision to demote the struggling pitcher. His 5.24 ERA is bad enough but it's the previously mentioned K/BB ratio that has caused the most concern.
Once considered a strikeout pitcher, Bard has been reduced to a wild, ineffective starter who seems to have lost more than his fastball. His confidence is nowhere to be found, which is likely a big part of the motive behind the option.
The fact that the righty landed in AAA instead of the bullpen suggests that the Sox still have hopes that he will succeed in a starting role, just not until he works out some kinks. Whether that's the right thing to do is questionable, but right now, it's the Red Sox decision.
Taking the roster spot opened up is Darnell McDonald, returning from a stint on the disabled list. A decision has yet to be made on the pitcher assuming Bard's spot but there's a strong possibility it could be Daisuke Matsuzaka.
As the situation develops, check back for more information. When it is determined who will slide into the rotation, The Yawkey Report will have it for you here.
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