Farrell: Short, frequent stints allowed Bard to succeed

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Farrell: Short, frequent stints allowed Bard to succeed

The Daniel Bard experiment was nothing short of an epic fail, and one that you can bet has been noticed across the league.

John Farrell, formerly the Red Sox pitching coach during the time when Bard was in a reliever's role, is certainly no exception, and can actually attest to the fact Bard seemed more suited for a reliever's role.

"The only thing I can say knowing Daniel from a time that he converted to the bullpen, I think it allowed him to not pace himself and really attack the strike zone in short stints," Farrell said to CSNNE's Jessica Moran. "That's when we saw the velocity climb. The more frequent use I think allowed him to have a better feel for his delivery, and really to the point of becoming the best set-up man not only in the American League but potentially in the Major Leagues during the couple-year run here in Boston."

Being the best set-up man was not in the best interest of Bard going into the 2012 regular season, and Red Sox -- seemingly short on funds to bring in starting pitching over the offseason -- were content with converting him. But Bard didn't do anything to cement himself in the minds of anyone -- including himself -- as a legitimate starting pitcher in Major League Baseball. Without that confidence on the mound, his play suffered. That said, it shouldn't be an issue getting it back.

"Oh, I think anytime you're talking about a pitcher or position player, confidence has a huge effect on a players performance," Farrell said. "When he was right and confident, I know Tito Terry Francona had no problem calling on him in the most difficult spot in the game and coming in and shutting off a potential rally or threat in a given game. When a player isn't hurt it's a matter of time, I think, before they get back to the level of performance previous."

Sunday's Red Sox-Rays lineups: JBJ sits, Vazquez catches

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Sunday's Red Sox-Rays lineups: JBJ sits, Vazquez catches

Jackie Bradley Jr. gets the day off and Christian Vazquez get the start at catcher as the Red Sox look to extend their winning streak to 11 games today against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg. 

Andrew Benintendi replaces Bradley in center, Chris Young is in left and left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez (3-7, 4.84 ERA) is on the mound as the Red Sox close in on the A.L. East title. Their magic number to clinch the division is three with seven games left. 

Right-hander Jake Odorizzi (9-6, 3.73) is on the mound for the Rays.

The lineups:  

RED SOX 
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Mookie Betts RF
Hanley Ramirez LF
Travis Shaw 3B
Chris Young LF
Andrew Benintendi CF
Christian Vazquez C
---
Eduardo Rodriguez LHP 

RAYS
Logan Forsythe 2B
Kevin Kiermaier CF
Evan Longoria 3B
Brad Miller SS
Mikey Mahtook RF
Corey Dickerson LF
Curt Casali DH
Luke Maile C
Richie Shaffer 1B
---
Jake Odorizzi RHP 
 

Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, 24, killed in boating accident

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Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, 24, killed in boating accident

MIAMI  — Jose Fernandez, the ace right-hander for the Miami Marlins who escaped Cuba to become one of baseball's brightest stars, was killed in a boating accident early Sunday morning. Fernandez was 24.

Authorities said Fernandez was one of three people killed in a boat crash off Miami Beach.

Chief Petty Officer Nyxolyno Cangemi told The Associated Press that a Coast Guard patrol boat spotted an overturned boat at 3:30 a.m. on a jetty near Government Cut. The bodies were discovered a short time later.

In the statement, the Marlins say they are "devastated by the tragic loss of José Fernández. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very difficult time."

"Hands down one of my favorite guys to watch pitch! He brought nothing but intensity and passion," Red Sox pitcher David Price said on Twitter early Sunday.

Because the boat was on a jetty, the Coast Guard notified Miami-Dade police, which turned the investigation over to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Fernandez was on a 32-foot vessel that had a "severe impact" with a jetty, said FWC's Lorenzo Veloz.

"We are stunned and devastated," Major League Baseball said in a statement.

City of Miami Fire-Rescue workers were seen carrying bodies, draped and on stretchers, at the Coast Guard station after sunrise Sunday. The names of the other two individuals are being withheld pending notification of relatives, the Coast Guard said.

Fernandez was a two-time All-Star who went 38-17 in his four seasons with the Marlins, winning the NL's Rookie of the Year award in 2013. The native of Santa Clara, Cuba became a U.S. citizen last year and was enormously popular in Miami.

He tried to defect from Cuba at least three times — landing in jail after one of those unsuccessful tries — before eventually getting to the U.S. and going to high school in Tampa, Florida. The Marlins drafted him in 2011 and Fernandez was in the majors two years later.

The Marlins' game Sunday at home against the Atlanta Braves has been cancelled.

"I'm still in shock," former Marlins player Gaby Sanchez said on Twitter. "The world has lost a remarkable person. You will be missed and my heart goes out to the Fernandez family."

© 2016 Associated Press.