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Control woes recur for Daniel Bard in Gulf Coast League

08.29.13 at 6:12 pm ET
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On Monday, right-hander Daniel Bard appeared to take a step forward by throwing a shutout inning in his first appearance since May 15, working around a walk, a hit and an error to navigate the frame. But on Thursday, the right-hander endured the same kind of command woes that characterized his final outings in Double-A Portland before he was shut down by Portland in mid-May (and eventually landed on the disabled list with an abdominal strain).

Bard was credited with recording two outs — though one came when the catcher caught a runner stealing — in a session that was nothing short of dreadful. He walked five batters, allowed three steals and uncorked two wild pitches. Ultimately, he was charged with two runs. For the season, Bard now has walked 23 batters and struck out seven in 14 1/3 minor league innings.

Manager John Farrell – who said that he has had “a couple conversations” with Bard this summer in an effort that he characterized as “more than anything checking in and seeing what frame of mind he’s in with what he’s been dealing with” — had not encountered the reports from Bard’s most recent outing in the Rookie Level Gulf Coast League, having instead heard back after his shutout inning on Monday in which the right-hander topped out at 93 mph.

“Velocity isn’t where he was when he was here for a brief time during spring training, and the fact that he’s on the mound is one step. The power that needs to come from just being inactive and the consistency to execution, that’s still a work in progress right now,” said Farrell. “For the majority of the time that he was down, it was kind of open-ended [what the goal of his rehab would be]. One, we didn’t know when he’d get back to throwing bullpens. Two, we didn’t know when he’d get back in games. And then, from this point forward, how much time remains or opportunities exist to gain some consistency, to gain some confidence more than anything, and did he become another option for us. And right now, that’s still in question.”

However, based on Thursday’s outing, the likelihood that Bard could see time again in the major leagues this year would appear remote.

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