Red Sox notes: Bard returns, team juggles younger players

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Red Sox notes: Bard returns, team juggles younger players

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.''

Pomeranz gives up three runs in Red Sox loss to Blue Jays

Pomeranz gives up three runs in Red Sox loss to Blue Jays

Starter Drew Pomeranz gives up three runs on five hits in four innings of work in the Red Sox' 3-2 loss to the Blue Jays on Friday.

Lou Merloni breaks down Pomeranz's start and explains why he should be in the starting rotation to begin the season.

Sox' lack of homegrown starters an understandable problem to Yanks' Cashman

Sox' lack of homegrown starters an understandable problem to Yanks' Cashman

The dearth of homegrown starting pitching for the Red Sox is talked about almost as much as every Tom Brady post on Instagram.

Red Sox fans may take some solace in knowing their team isn’t the only one dealing with this problem.

In an interview with MLB.com's Mark Feinsand, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman didn’t talk about his team’s pitching problems in context of the Red Sox. But the explanation the longtime Yanks boss offered should sound familiar. 

In the biggest of markets, time to develop properly is scarce.

“Yeah. It's a fact,” Cashman said when asked if criticism of their pitching development was fair. “I think part of the process has been certainly where we draft. Because we've had a lot of success, we've not been allowed to tank and go off the board and therefore get access to some of the high-end stuff that plays out to be impactful. Part of it is we can't get out of our own way because we don't have the patience to let guys finish off their development, because if you possess some unique ability that stands out above everybody else -- whether it was Joba Chamberlain, Ian Kennedy, now [Luis] Severino and before that [Bryan] Mitchell and Shane Greene -- we're pulling them up before their development is finished.

“Teams like Tampa Bay, for instance, they're going to wait until they have their four pitches down and their innings limits are all exceeded at the minor-league level; they're very disciplined in that approach as they finish off their starters. For us, if I'm looking at my owner and he says, ‘What's our best team we can take north?’ 

“Well, ‘We could take this guy; he's not necessarily 100 percent finished off, but we can stick him in our 'pen. He can be in the back end of our rotation, because he's better than some of the guys we already have,’ and then you cut corners, so I think that probably plays a role in it.”

Not everything is circumstantial, though -- or a deflection. 

“And sometimes we don't make the right decisions, either, when we're making draft selections and signings and stuff like that,” Cashman continued. “On top of it all, playing in New York is a lot different than playing anywhere else.”

We’ve heard that last part about Boston too, here and there.

Cashman was complimentary of his current Sox counterpart, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, whose team Cashman has compared to the Golden State Warriors.

On his feelings when he first heard the Sox were getting Chris Sale:

“When that trade was consummated, that was the first thing I thought about, which was, 'Wow, look at what they've done,' ” Cashman said. “I know how it's going to play out for them. Listen, Steve Kerr does a great job managing that team -- oh, I mean John Farrell. It's a lot of talent and with talent comes pressure to perform. I think Dave Dombrowski has done everything he possibly can to provide that city with a world championship team. They've got 162 games to show it.”