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.