PAWTUCKET -- Daniel Bard's a member of the PawSox -- for now -- and he's trying to make the best of it.
Im just an employee here but obviously Im not thrilled with it," he said to a group of reporters at McCoy Stadium, including Comcast SportsNet's Carolyn Manno, prior to Thursday night's Indianapolis-at-Pawtucket game. "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 disappointment out of the way, you just got to try to make the best of it.
Bard traces his troubles -- which culminated in a ghastly performance Sunday in Toronto (6 walks and 2 hit batters in 1 23 innings) that prompted his demotion -- to his offseason switch from the bullpen to the starting rotation.
I think we just came into spring training and thought, 'Okay, how do we need to change everything I do to fit the starting role?', and I dont think we needed to change as much as I thought we did," Bard said. "We tweaked a lot of things mechanically trying to simplify me, trying to get the best windup that Im comfortable with. Probably did a little too much rather than just . . . you cant think and pitch at the same time.
So the question is: Will he remain in the rotation?
They haven't told me," he said. "They told me I'm going to be a starter down here and that it's going to start out being some shorter starts which will probably frustrate the bullpen a little bit. I told them I would do it out of the pen but they said they want me to be starting down here. I told them straight up this isn't going to take long . . . for me to figure things out. Once it clicks, it clicks."
He's also had a decrease in velocity, which he believes is another element of the mechanical problems he's having.
When your velocity goes down and your command is off, it's hard to trust your stuff," he said. "It's a matter of finding a delivery that you're comfortable with. I've been out there trying to keep in check or correct two or three things with my delivery and also get big-league hitters out. It's pretty tough to do.
Never say never?
While Red Sox officials said at the team's annual Winter Weekend at Foxwoods on Saturday that they'd be traveling to the Dominican Republic to talk to David Ortiz about a role with the team, Pedro Martinez told WEEI he sees Big Papi returning to his old role - designated hitter - this season.
CSN's Trenni Kusnierek and WEEI's John Tomase talked to Martinez on their show Saturday at Foxwoods and Martinez said his old teammate would be making a comeback despite the long, emotional farewell tour last season.
For the full interview with Martinez, click here.
Red Sox executives Tom Werner, Sam Kennedy and Dave Dombrowski made no mention of Ortiz returning as a player when talking about their Dominican trip. Ortiz has repeatedly said he is going to stay retired.
MASHANTUCKET, Conn. -- While there’s a deal of anticipation going into Spring training with the four Killer B’s, David Price and Pablo Sandoval’s shot at redemption and Rick Porcello looking to be something similar to his 2016 self, there’s one name that trumps them all.
The lankly lefty received an ovation from fans at the Friday night Town Hall, kicking off Red Sox Winter Weekend. With his consistent success, there’s reason to be excited.
But there’s also reason for apprehension given the way Sale’s departure from Chicago was depicted. But he’s made sure to clear the air.
“I wouldn’t say . . . ya know . . . I loved my time in Chicago,” Sale said when asked if it was time to leave the Windy City. “My best baseball memories are there [and] will be there forever. I love the city; I love the people in the organization.
“It was time for both sides to do something different, I guess. I talked to (White Sox Senior V.P.) Rick on the phone, I talked to (White Sox pitching coach Don) Coop (Cooper). We’re all cool, it’s fine. We understand where both of us are, it happens in baseball, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Chicago.”
He didn’t seem irritated discussing the issue, and certainly wasn’t timid -- we all know that’s not in his DNA.
He genuinely seems excited to deal with the large sum of Sox fans and to call a new place home -- in a city his wife’s fond of no less.
But ultimately, he’s focused on winning, nothing else.
“Every time I’m out there it’s gonna be all I got,” Sale said. "Every time, no matter what. Can promise you that.”