|Terry Francona on The Big Show: ‘I probably would have argued’ for leaving Daniel Bard in bullpen||07.12.12 at 5:29 pm ET|
Former Red Sox manager Terry Francona, in an interview on The Big Show, said that he felt that it was “risky” for the Red Sox to try to move Daniel Bard from the relief role in which he dominated to the starting rotation this spring, and that he would have argued against such a role shift.
“This is a guy I relied on more than anybody. You guys know how much I think about that seventh and eighth inning guy, how important that is,” said Francona. “I thought it was risky starting him.
“I understand how important 200 innings are. But you’ve got to think, where does this guy impact the game the most?” he added. “I thought he was so good at that seventh and eighth inning, clean up messes, get out of an inning and maybe pitching another inning. And the other thing, he wasn’t going to pitch 200 innings anyway. They weren’t going to let him jump up to 200 innings. He was going to pitch 140, 150 if everything goes well, and then you’re looking for Daniel Bard to pick up him when he’s left the game. … I probably would have argued, gone on the side of leaving him in the bullpen.”
Bard, of course, struggled in the Red Sox rotation, going 5-6 with a 5.24 ERA in 11 games this year prior to a demotion to Triple-A Pawtucket, where his command has been inconsistent en route to an 8.16 ERA in 13 appearances. Francona said that he was convinced that Bard ultimately will correct course, even if the attempt to put him in the rotation has met with poor results to date.
“I thought, again, this was a guy who was potentially on the verge of making the All-Star team as a reliever, now all of a sudden he’s in Triple-A trying to find his way. I do think he’s strong enough personally and talented enough where he’s going to figure it out,” said Francona. “I think it’s a shame. I feel bad for him that he’s going through it, but I do think he’ll figure it out.”
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