Red Sox notes: Bard returns, team juggles younger players

Red Sox notes: Bard returns, team juggles younger players
August 31, 2012, 2:56 am
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ANAHEIM -- Daniel Bard may be part of the Red Sox' bullpen again for the first time in almost three months, but don't expect to see him in high leverage situations -- at least not right away.
"Hopefully, I'll be able to pitch him when I want to, not when I have to,'' said Bobby Valentine.
Valentine added that he would "preferrably'' have Bard start innings, rather than come in the middle of an inning.
And, he hinted that Bard will have to earn his trust before he's handed the eighth inning in a one-run game.
"We have other guys who are slated, right now, to get the ball in a one-run game (late),'' said Valentine. "But that doesn't mean it's not going to be a tie game in extra innings or other things can happen down the line when these (other) guys aren't ready to pitch.''
Bard was optioned to Pawtucket after a disastrous June 3 outing in which he walked four and hit two others. He then endured a stretch at Pawtucket when it seemed as though he couldn't throw a strike.
But more recently, Bard has performed better. In his last three outings with the Pawsox before his return, he didn't walk a singlebatter.
Bard also believes some adjustments to his delivery, as well as a return to the bullpen where he'll only have to use his fastball and slider will help him show improved command.

Ryan Lavarnway was behind the plate for the final game of the series with the Angels, with Jarrod Saltalamacchia relegated to the DH role with David Ortiz sidelined.
Valentine is trying to juggle playing time for the two in the final month of the season.
"Salty's played like a champion,'' said Valentine. "Now that we can do the DH routine, I wouldn't mind seeing Lavarnway a little (behind the plate). I just don't want to see Salty rotting and not be appreciated for his great effort this year.
"Salty's probably going to catch real soon. Lavarnway's not going to catch every day.''
Valentine has the same concerns about shortstop Mike Aviles, who is having to share some playing time with Jose Iglesias.
The organization knows what Aviles and Saltalamacchia can do, and while there's an interest in evaluating younger players in the heat of battle, the established players shouldn't be forgotten.
"We've seen what they've done,'' said Valentine, "and now I don't want them to be punished by not having the opportunity to add to good seasons they've already had. (I don't want them) to sit down for a week or get one at-bat a game. It becomes difficult. I'm trying to do what's best for all situations.''