|Daniel Bard on demotion: ‘I’m just an employee here’||06.08.12 at 1:21 pm ET|
Red Sox pitcher Daniel Bard was in Pawtucket on Thursday after being demoted on Tuesday, and he did not seem too happy about it.
“It’s not my decision. I’m just an employee here,” Bard told reporters of the decision to demote him. “Obviously I’m not thrilled with it, and if it was me making the decision it might have been different, but I tried to be respectful about it and once I get the anger and stuff out of the way and the disappointment a little bit, we just have to try to make the best of the situation.”
Bard was sent to Triple-A in an effort to help him rebound to a rough start to his career as a starting pitcher at the major league level. In his 10 starts and one relief appearance this season with Boston, Bard has a 5.24 ERA with only 34 strikeouts and a team-high 37 walks.
Coaches have pointed to mechanical issues as a primary reason for his struggles, with the assignment serving as an opportunity to correct the issues.
“I think we found something that is really going to help,” Bard said. [Thursday] we translated it into my bullpen session, I threw bullpen in Boston in the early afternoon, so I feel like that’s a big step in the right direction and it simplified things for me and made me feel like my old self.”
As for which role the coaches want Bard to have on the pitching staff, Bard says he does not know yet, but for now he is still a starting pitcher in Pawtucket.
“They asked me basically, ‘How do you feel with the starter or reliever thing?’” he said. “And I said ‘I still feel like I can do either one.’ If I had been pitching what I thought was my best the last two months in the starting role and putting up the same numbers, I would probably say ‘let’s can it.’ But I know I haven’t pitched as well as I’m capable of.”For now though, Bard said his focus is to improve the mechanics flaw and to regain confidence in his pitching, which he implied had dipped along with his velocity starting pitcher.
“It’s hard to trust your stuff when I was throwing 98 out of the bullpen and now I’m only throwing my best fastball and reaching back and it’s 92 or 93, there’s something that comes with that,” Bard said.
“I’ve literally been out there trying to keep in check or correct two or three different things in my delivery while trying to get big league hitters out, and that’s pretty tough to do.”
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