At last, the Boston Red Sox finally made a decision on struggling starting pitcher Daniel Bard.
They sent him to Triple-A Pawtucket to try and figure things out without hurting the major league club.
A move had to be made after he was taken out of the game in the second inning in his most recent start. The Boston Globe's Peter Abraham didn't seem surprised by the move, as he didn't even comment when tweeting it.
Daniel Bard to AAA. #RedSox
— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) June 5, 2012
I'm glad they finally addressed the situation, but now the Red Sox have to worry about who's going to start against the Washington Nationals on Saturday. This would've been Bard's next start if he wasn't optioned to the minors.
Well, things happen and I’ve changed my mind.
Why, you ask? This tweet from the official Twitter of the Pawtucket Red Sox might clear that up.
Matsuzaka departs in 2nd-inning after throwing 40 pitches. Goes 1.1 innings allowing 3 hits and 2 walks with 1 run in and 1 on base.
— PawSox (@PawSox) June 5, 2012
That’s not the kind of start I was looking for out of the potential Saturday starter. Besides, he pitched so poorly, I think it’s going to be at least another start for Matsuzaka in the minors before we see him with Boston.
Abraham also chimed in on Matsuzaka’s performance.
#RedSox wanted Dice-K to go 3 IP for Pawtucket as a tune-up for Saturday. He went 1.1 and threw 40 pitches. Sounds about right
— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) June 6, 2012
I’ve decided to go with a less obvious approach for Saturday’s matchup. Why not just use the bullpen the entire game?
Here’s my plan if I’m Bobby Valentine:
Vicente Padilla for four innings.
Andrew Miller, Franklin Morales and Scott Atchison for four innings combined.
Alfredo Aceves for the last innings.
It may look crazy at first, but let me explain.
Vicente Padilla was a starter for the majority of his career. There’s no reason he isn’t capable of going four innings. He went four innings in Boston’s second game of the year, and has appeared in more than one inning in five of his 2012 appearances.
To ask Andrew Miller, Franklin Morales and Scott Atchison to go approximately 1.1 innings is a normal thing—manager Bobby Valentine asks for it on a regular basis.
Lastly, Alfredo Aceves is the closer. Going an inning, if Boston’s close or ahead, is cake for him. He loves to pitch.
Boston has a few days to figure out what they want to do. Maybe they’ll take my advice.