Sox may turn Bard into a starter

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Sox may turn Bard into a starter

Apparently, there's more to this Daniel Bard-to-the-starting-rotation talk than mere speculation.

Speaking Saturday at the 'Christmas at Fenway' festivities, manager Bobby Valentine said he told Bard to "prepare to be a starter and if that, in fact, does not happen, to be ready and willing to be our closer."

"Daniel, as we would hope he would say, said, 'Hey, whatevers best for the team,' " Valentine said.

According to Valentine, the Sox will stretch Bard out in spring training as they do their starting pitchers, then will make a decision three or four weeks into camp as to how they'll use him.

Hes going to be penciled in to be one of those guys who works going from his bullpen to pitching two innings to pitching four innings to pitching six innings," said Valentine. "Whenever we get to that plateau, with the pitching coach Ill hopefully have by my side soon, and all the members of the staff and front office, well have to make a determination after that 18- to 20-inning mark as to where he will be during the season."

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Red Sox will be in attendance for Lincecum showcase

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Red Sox will be in attendance for Lincecum showcase

CHICAGO -- Along with 20 or so other teams, the Red Sox will be in attendance Friday when former San Francisco Giants righthander Tim Lincecum throws in Scottsdale, Az. in a showcase for scouts and talent evaluators.

Indications are, however, that the Sox are merely doing their due diligence in attending the workout. It's unclear how highly they regard the 31-year-old pitcher, or what role they would envision for him.

Lincecum was a free agent last winter, but attracted little attention and spent most of the winter and early spring refining his mechanics, gearing toward this week's showcase.

Lincecum was the National League Cy Young Award winner in 2008 and 2009 and an All-Star in 2010 and 2011, but from 2012 through last year, his performance dipped considerably, with a won-loss record of 39-42 and an ERA of 4.68.

He pitched out of the bullpen some in 2014 and last season was limited to just 15 starts.

The Sox are waiting on Eduardo Rodriguez and Joe Kelly to return from injuries and have Henry Owens in the rotation currently. Additionally, Brian Johnson and Roenis Elias are depth options in Pawtucket.