Bard is back
With the Red Sox now in a position where they are playing for the future, it was of note to see Daniel Bard return to the team on Wednesday, in preparation for being activated by Thursday.
Bard could be a vital piece for the 2013 Red Sox if he can figure out a way to get back to what he was from 2009-11.
Here are his thoughts on being back in the bigs.
“It’s good to be back. It took some patience, but I’m glad to finally get the call,” Bard said.
Was the time down on the farm beneficial?
“It just gave me a chance to work on some things without too much consequence in the results. I worked accomplishing some really good things, and I’m headed in the right direction, and now I just need to get back in a competitive environment and focus on competing.”
Mental or physical?
“It’s a little bit of everything. Pitching is a combination of both. It’s just a matter of getting out there every couple of days and trying to get better every day.”
How humbling was it?
“It definitely came as a shock when it first happened. I’ve talked about that enough. But it was an opportunity to work on some things I needed to work on. I’m glad to be back.”
Other pitchers have been sent down before and have recovered to have success.
“Pitching is never something that you figure out. It’s a constant process to get better. Once you do feel good about how you’re throwing the ball, it’s a constant work to maintain that. Every pitcher has his ups and downs. It’s another part of your journey.”
How has he felt lately?
“It’s good now. I feel like I’ve thrown the ball well the last few weeks. There have been a couple of hiccups here and there, but it was more just trying to tweak something in the mechanics and carrying it into a game maybe didn’t go as well as we wanted, but it wasn’t a confidence thing, it was working on some new things. The last few have been really good. I feel like I’ve simplified my delivery to the point that I can just go out there and not think about it and focus on getting the hitter out.”
“The initial shock of getting sent down and pitching in that environment after being up here for three years, it’s hard. There’s no adrenaline. It’s 100 percent development and just working on things. Once I got through that and got to the point that I forced myself to just go out and compete, those were the best outings I had. Getting to this environment up here is only going to help.”
Mechanics better now?
“It’s good. You know, I was never a guy that had the same arm slot on every pitch. I’d be higher on some, lower on some, throw some sliders from the lower slot and had success with it. When I stopped kind of lowering on that, it’s been kind of a tough change for me to be as consistent as I can, and things are better.
Was trying to become a starter a mistake?
“I think it was trying to morph myself into a starter too much, trying to change, throw my changeup, frontdoor cutters, backdoor sinkers, just trying to do things I hadn’t done in the past. It worked some days and didn’t work other days. I kind of lost the pitcher that I felt like I was the last three years. I had to kind of do what I had to do to rediscover that.
“I mean, you look at any video from the last three years, I was pretty much fastball-slider, attack the zone and hit it if you can. That’s the mentality that I’m back to now.”
Weird to be back with the Red Sox and see so many familiar faces gone?
“It’s weird. Definitely different. I’ve been following the last couple weeks everything that’s gone on. It’s sad to see those guys go. I’m close with them, and I wish them the best. But it’s an opportunity for the organization.”
Playing out the string is also different.
“Yeah. We’ve either been in the playoffs or in the race well past this point the last two, three years. It’s different, I guess, but I think everyone here still wants to win. We still have a lot to prove that we can be a good team without those guys, so I think there’s plenty of motivation here to win.”