Bard gives up run in one inning out of PawSox pen

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Bard gives up run in one inning out of PawSox pen

PAWTUCKET, R.I. In his second outing with Triple-A Pawtucket since being demoted June 7, Daniel Bard pitched one inning Monday night against the Gwinnett Braves. He gave up one run on one hit and one walk with two strikeouts.

He threw 22 pitches, 11 for strikes, with just one first-pitch strike, to his fifth and final batter. Bard has an ERA of 18.00 with Pawtucket.

The PawSox lost to Gwinnett, 11-8.

Entering in the sixth inning with the PawSox trailing by five runs, Bard gave up a lead-off single to Jose Constanza, the Braves lead-off hitter, and a four-pitch walk to Luis Durango. A passed ball on the third pitch to Durango had already sent Constanza to second base. On a 2-1 pitch to Tyler Pastornicky, Constanza and Durango completed a double steal. Pastornicky grounded out to Pedro Ciriaco at short, scoring Constanza.

Bard got out of the inning with consecutive strikeouts. He retired Ernesto Mejia, swinging at an 85-mph slider, and Stefan Gartrell looking at an 83-mph slider.

Bards fastball velocity was in the 92-94 mph range.

I thought there were some real positive steps tonight, said manager Arnie Beyeler. I thought he did a nice job. To start with he got guys out. He got two big hitters out in the middle of the order. I thought some real positive steps. Had some plane to his ball. Was around the zone better. And I know they put some good work in, him and pitching coach Rich Sauveur out there, and he felt good coming in tonight and felt positive. so even though he was around the zone, still wasnt as consistent as I know he needs to be at the next level, but definitely positive steps from the last time out.

Bard also was pleased with his outing.

It took me two batters I think to really get locked in to an arm slot, Bard said. I was a little bit low, lower than I would like on those first couple hitters and you saw some balls running away from me. And then I make the adjustment and I think pitched pretty well to those last three guys. So the nice thing is I can focus on that and say I wasnt perfect but it doesnt matter. I was locked in, I got something good to walk away with those last three hitters.

He looked like he was thinking too much, said one scout in attendance. He usually looks so fluid. But he wasnt finishing his pitches.

He looked awful on the first two batters, and much better for the last three, said another. I think they did the right thing letting him pitch one inning and get some confidence back. I still think hes a seventh or eighth inning pitcher, nothing more, nothing less.

Bard had originally been scheduled to start the game. Instead, he was taken out of the starters role, as CSNNE.com was the first to report earlier Monday, with right-hander Billy Buckner making the start, with Bard scheduled to pitch one inning.

Bard has not given up on starting.

I just told them after that last one Friday night, I said that starting with the intention of going one inning just felt really strange, Bard said. I mean, it felt like a very manufactured situation, didnt feel like I was really part of a baseball game. So I just told them, I said Im all good with the short stints closer together. I think thats a good way to get back on track but I dont see, if were trying to go with more of a bullpen feel, which is kind of what they talked to me about when we get through this and then translate to starting, I said why dont we just do it out of the bullpen? So, I told them lets just do that. And they were OK with it, with the intent of doing this a few times and like I said, translating back to starting.

The current situation for Bard is still a work in process, with the next steps not entirely known.

I dont know, Beyeler said. I would assume hes going to throw another inning or two, probably Thursday (the PawSox have an off-day Wednesday). I would assume that but that hasnt been verified or passed along. That was kind of the plan going along the last weve heard.

Buckner took the loss, falling to 0-1 with an ERA of 11.42. He went 4 23 innings, giving up seven runs on nine hits and three walks with one strikeout and three home runs.

The PawSox outhit the Braves, 15-14. Every PawSox batter in the starting lineup had at least one hit except second baseman Tony Thomas.

Lars Anderson went 3-for-4 with three runs, scored, three RBI, one walk, a double, and a home run, falling a triple shy of the cycle. The solo shot in the eighth was his eighth home run of the season.

Alex Hassan went 3-for-5 with two RBI.

A farewell to the many prospects Dave Dombrowski traded Tuesday

A farewell to the many prospects Dave Dombrowski traded Tuesday

A baseball lesson: There’s trading a top prospect because you know he’s not as good as everyone thinks (a la the Atlanta Braves back in the day with Andy Marte) and then there’s straight-up dumping out the treasure chest because you’re Dave GD Dombrowski and you’ll be damned if “promise” is going to get in the way of you making a zillion trades… a la Dave Dombrowski.  

Since the start of the 2016 season, Dombrowski has traded four of his top 10 prospects by Baseball America’s rankings, and three of his top five. The group is led by Yoan Moncada, who was considered the team’s best prospect before he was shipped to Chicago in Tuesday’s blockbuster trade for Chris Sale. 

All in all, the Sox sent out six prospects in two trades Tuesday, and they’ll join the likes of Anderson Espinoza, Manuel Margot and others with whom Dombrowski has willingly parted since taking over as Boston’s president of baseball operations. 

Here’s a look at the players the Sox gave up Tuesday: 

YOAN MONCADA, 2B 
Baseball America Red Sox ranking: 1
MLB.com Red Sox ranking: 1

Moncada’s eight games in the Major Leagues to this point haven’t been impressive, but using that as rationale (as some may have when the Sox traded a young Hanley Ramirez in the Josh Beckett trade) is likely wishful thinking. 

The Cuban infielder was ranked the No. 1 prospect in baseball by Baseball America last season. The outlet projects him as a five-tool player whose potential to hit for average and power will outweigh strikeout concerns. 

From August: 

Built like a running back at 6-foot-2, 205 pounds, Moncada is an explosive athlete with true five-tool potential. A switch-hitter, Moncada has electric bat speed, which combined with his strength allows him to smash hard line drives all over the field. He has at least plus raw power, with that power starting to translate more in games thanks to mechanical adjustments he’s worked on this season.  

MICHAEL KOPECH, RHP
Baseball America Red Sox ranking: 5
MLB.com Red Sox ranking: 5

A first-round pick of the Sox in the 2014 draft, Kopech has yet to reach Double A, but, per two radar guns, has reached 105 miles an hour with his fastball. If that number is accurate, it ranks just one tenth of a mile-per-hour behind Arolis Chapman’s 2010 fastball for the fastest pitch recorded. 

Regardless of the pitch’s exact speed, it does damage. Pitching in High-A Salem last season, Kopech struck out a whopping 82 batters in 52 innings. 

LUIS ALEXANDER BASABE, OF 
Baseball America Red Sox ranking: 9 
MLB.com Red Sox ranking: 8

The switch-hitting outfielder spent most of last season in Single-A Greenville, hitting .258/.325/.447 in 105 games with 12 homers and 52 RBI. The Venezuela native is considered a decent fielder with a very good arm. 

If his name sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the same first and last name as twin brother Luis Alejandro Basabe. Perhaps not surprisingly, Dombrowski also traded him over the last year when he shipped the second baseman to Arizona in the Brad Ziegler trade. 

MAURICIO DUBON, SS/2B
(Not ranked among Baseball America’s top 10 Red Sox prospects) 
MLB.com Red Sox ranking: 17

Maybe the kind of guy you want to keep on the same day you trade Yoan Moncada. 

Dubon is considered a very solid infield prospect, so much so that The Boston Globe noted Tuesday that “teams were absolutely drooling over Dubon’s defense and his offensive potential.” He finished the season at Double-A Portland, hitting .339/.371/.538 with six homers, six triples and 40 RBI. 

VICTOR DIAZ, RHP
(Not ranked among Baseball America’s top 10 Red Sox prospects) 
 MLB.com Red Sox ranking: 28

The hard-throwing righty reportedly hit triple digits with his fastball this season and, like Kopech, used his fastball to his advantage. He struck out 63 batters in 60.1 innings for Single-A Greenville

JOSH PENNINGTON, RHP 
(Not ranked among Baseball America’s top 10 Red Sox prospects) 
MLB.com Red Sox ranking: N/A

This is an interesting one. He was drafted as a project in the 2014 draft after learning that he would need Tommy John Surgery. He was starting to make good on his potential this past season, posting a 2.86 ERA and striking out 49 batters in 56.2 innings for Short-Season A Lowell. 

McAdam: For Dombrowski and Red Sox, the future is now

McAdam: For Dombrowski and Red Sox, the future is now

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Dave Dombrowski has jumped in. All in. With both feet.

MORE ON THE TRADE

For an executive with a reputation for making bold moves, Dombrowski may have made his boldest one yet Tueday by shipping arguably the organization's best position player prospect (Yoan Moncada) and its best pitching prospect (Michael Kopech), along with two others, to the Chicago White Sox for lefty ace Chris Sale.

Adding Sale to a rotation that already includes reigning Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello and David Price gives the Red Sox the American League's best rotation and makes the Sox the team to beat in the A.L.

Hired 17 months ago with a mandate to make the Red Sox winners again after three last-place finishes in the span of four seasons, Dombrowski has acted aggressively and decisively.

Since then, he's obtained Price, Craig Kimbrel, Carson Smith, Drew Pomeranz, Tyler Thornburg and Sale. That translates into three lefty starters and three back-end power arms in the bullpen.

Of course, all those moves have come at a significant cost. Dombrowski has gone through the Red Sox' minor-league system and shredded it, sacrificing Anderson Espinoza, Manuel Margot, Javier Guerra, and now, Moncada and Kopech.

The pitching, in particular, has been stripped bare, with Espinoza and Kopech representing the two best arms in the system. And in Moncada, the Sox gave up on arguably the single most talented propsect in the entire sport.

At a time when teams protect their best young players as though their existence depends on them, Dombrowski has demonstrated a willingess to move them for a chance to win now.

In exchange, the Sox have now built a super rotation, with three front-line starters, augmented by two other lefties (Pomeranz and Eduardo Rodriguez) along with Steven Wright and Clay Buchholz.

It's a virtual certainty that the Sox will move one of those arms now, in a market where there's virtually no quality free-agent starters available.

Buchholz, who stands to earn $13.5 million in 2017, would give them payroll relief, while Rodriguez, because of his youth and upside, might give the team its biggest return.

Dombrowski's moves create a window for the Red Sox. Sale's deal runs through 2019, while Price has an opt-out in his deal after 2018.

That creates some urgency for the Red Sox to capitalize on the strength of their rotation and a nucleus of young position players -- Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Andrew Benintendi -- and win multiple titles in the next few seasons.

Anything less will be considered a failure.

It's championship-or-bust time at Fenway.