Scout 'disappointed' with Bard's outing

Scout 'disappointed' with Bard's outing
March 14, 2013, 7:45 pm
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FORT MYERS, Fla. – When Daniel Bard entered Thursday’s game against the Twins in the sixth inning with the Red Sox leading by four runs, it appeared that he had quickly put himself at a disadvantage, walking Chris Parmelee and giving up a first-pitch single to Joe Benson. But Bard pitched himself out of the jam, striking out Oswaldo Arcia, getting Eric Fryer to fly out to Ryan Sweeney in right, and getting No. 9 hitter Pedro Florimon to ground out to Mauro Gomez ending the inning.

It represented a positive sign for the right-hander.

“Yeah, particularly the way the inning started,” said manager John Farrell. “He regrouped, kept the damage to a minimum. And the one thing you might say, the 3-2 pitch that he ended up going to a breaking ball to walk a guy when he was throwing a good fastball. That’s part of spring training, getting the mind into it as much as the body. But that’s three solid [outings] in a row for him.”

After appearing in two games early this spring, Feb. 21 against Northeastern and Feb. 25 in Port Charlotte against the Rays, Bard was held out of games as he worked on the side to improve his mechanics. He returned March 7 against the Twins, recording three strikeouts in one perfect inning. On Sunday in Port Charlotte, he went one inning, giving up one hit with a strikeout.

After his disastrous attempt at starting last season, Bard now finds himself fighting for a spot in the bullpen.

“It’s day to day, working through getting a feel for the mechanics, trying to iron things out that aren’t quite right,” Bard said. “It’s been nice to be able to go out there and feel comfortable on the mound again. I didn’t have that feeling most of the second half last year. Just being comfortable and really feeling like I’m in control on the mound has been great. I look forward to doing it for a long time.”

While Bard and Farrell were pleased with the right-hander’s outing, not everyone saw it that way.

“I was disappointed,” said one scout in attendance. “I thought the last two times I saw him he was better than he was today. He was flying open, which changes his arm slot. The top and bottom of his front side were going in different angles. He was around his breaking ball, he wasn’t throwing as hard. I had him at 94, 95, and previously I had him at 97.”