The Portland Sea Dogs’ roster has not been set, but the team knows they are getting at least one major league reliever. The Boston Red Sox announced Thursday that Daniel Bard is being sent to the Sea Dogs next week to begin the 2013 season.
Bard, 27, had a disappointing season last year when he tried to become a starter. He went back to the bullpen but wasn’t the same dominating reliever he had been.
This spring training, working with new manager John Farrell and new pitching coach Juan Nieves, Bard has been working at returning to his old form. But it apparently is going to take some more time.
It was not shocking that Bard was sent back to the minors. The fact that he went to Double-A Portland, instead of Triple-A Pawtucket, was a surprise.
Nieves told Rob Bradford of WEEI.com that Bard went to Double-A so he would not rush trying to get back to the majors.
“This is a process,” Nieves said. “Consistency is going to be very important … it’s not a demotion … He knows it’s going to take time.”
Bard last pitched for the Sea Dogs in 2008. He reached the majors in 2009 and began dominating in 2010 (1.93 ERA). He looked solid for most of 2011 but then tried starting last year. He had a 6.22 ERA as both a starter and reliever in 2012.
Bard looked improved this spring training, but still had trouble with consistency.