Bard on demotion: 'Obviously Im not thrilled with it'

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Bard on demotion: 'Obviously Im not thrilled with it'

PAWTUCKET -- Daniel Bard's a member of the PawSox -- for now -- and he's trying to make the best of it.

Im just an employee here but obviously Im not thrilled with it," he said to a group of reporters at McCoy Stadium, including Comcast SportsNet's Carolyn Manno, prior to Thursday night's Indianapolis-at-Pawtucket game. "If it was me making the decision it might have been different but I tried to be respectful about it, and once I get the anger and disappointment out of the way, you just got to try to make the best of it.

Bard traces his troubles -- which culminated in a ghastly performance Sunday in Toronto (6 walks and 2 hit batters in 1 23 innings) that prompted his demotion -- to his offseason switch from the bullpen to the starting rotation.

I think we just came into spring training and thought, 'Okay, how do we need to change everything I do to fit the starting role?', and I dont think we needed to change as much as I thought we did," Bard said. "We tweaked a lot of things mechanically trying to simplify me, trying to get the best windup that Im comfortable with. Probably did a little too much rather than just . . . you cant think and pitch at the same time.

So the question is: Will he remain in the rotation?

They haven't told me," he said. "They told me I'm going to be a starter down here and that it's going to start out being some shorter starts which will probably frustrate the bullpen a little bit. I told them I would do it out of the pen but they said they want me to be starting down here. I told them straight up this isn't going to take long . . . for me to figure things out. Once it clicks, it clicks."

He's also had a decrease in velocity, which he believes is another element of the mechanical problems he's having.

When your velocity goes down and your command is off, it's hard to trust your stuff," he said. "It's a matter of finding a delivery that you're comfortable with. I've been out there trying to keep in check or correct two or three things with my delivery and also get big-league hitters out. It's pretty tough to do.

Cardinals pull away late for 7-2 victory over Red Sox

Cardinals pull away late for 7-2 victory over Red Sox

The Cardinals broke open a close game with four runs in the last two innings against Red Sox relief prospect Chandler Shepherd and went on to a 7-2 exhibition victory over Boston yesterday at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers.

Red Sox-Cardinals box score

The loss dropped the Sox to 1-3 for the exhibition season.

Boston had jumped on top, 1-0, on an RBI single by Mitch Moreland in the bottom of the first, but St. Louis countered with two runs in the second and one in the third, all against starter Brian Johnson. It remained 3-1 until the Cards touched Shepherd for two runs in the eighth and two in the ninth. The Red Sox added their final run in the bottom of the ninth when catcher Jordan Procyshen, who spent last season at Single-A Salem, hit a sacrifice fly.

Moreland, Xander Bogaerts and Chris Young each had two hits for the Red Sox. who also got scoreless relief from Teddy Stankiewicz, Noe Ramirez, Robby Scott, Kyle Martin and Brandon Workman. It was Bogaerts' last game before leaving to compete for The Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic.

The Sox host the Yankees on Tuesday at 1:05 p.m.

Dustin Pedroia taking cues from Tom Brady to extend his career

Dustin Pedroia taking cues from Tom Brady to extend his career

Dustin Pedroia is no stranger to injuries. That's a big reason why he's no longer a stranger to the sometimes peculiar practices of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

In an interview on WEEI's "Bradfo Show," Pedroia told Rob Bradford that he's been taking cues from the five-time Super Bowl-winning QB to help extend his playing career and make his body healthier and more durable.

“I understand what he does and know what he does. I think it’s awesome,” Pedroia told Bradford. “There’s a reason why he’s successful at his age (39), and he looks better now than he did when he first came to the league. You have to be smarter as you get older and learn different styles -- the way to train and the way you take care of your body to be able to perform and stay on the field. It doesn’t matter what sport you’re playing. He’s definitely got that figured out.”

Pedroia, of course, played the entire 2013 World Series-winning season with a torn ligament in his thumb. He's battled through various other lower body and hand injuries over the past few seasons, as well. But in 2016, he had his best season in recent memory, posting his highest OPS since 2011, as WEEI notes.

Part of that is with his own take on the Brady approach -- which focuses more on pliability and resistance training than extensive, heavy weight lifting -- and a healthier overall lifestyle, something Brady is notoriously infamous for having.

"There’s tons of ways to take care of your body. It’s not just get in the weight room and throw weights around,” Pedroia explained. “As you get older, the human body can’t take the pounding if you’re going in there and power lifting. When you’re younger, you can handle some of that. But as you get older, you got to be smarter. Sometimes less is more -- whether that’s weight or reps or whatever. You’ve just got to be smart. And eating wise, that’s a big part of recovery. If you put the right foods in your body, you’ll heal faster if you’re injured or recover faster. It’s like a car, man. Put bad gas in, bro. It’s not going to be the same as good gas.”

He hopes the approach can, at the very least, keep him moving for quite some time.

“I plan on living until I’m 100," he said. "So we’re not even halfway home."