Bard said he's no longer a starter. He believes he's back where he belongs as a reliever. He called Cherington to tell him. Both agree.— Joe McDonald (@ESPNJoeyMac) June 22, 2012
The move comes more than two weeks after Boston optioned Bard to Triple-A Pawtucket. The demotion became completely necessary after the transition to the starting rotation started terribly.
In 11 outings this season (10 starts), Bard was 5-6 with a 5.24 ERA while walking 37 men and only striking out 34. His final start in Boston came against the Toronto Blue Jays, where he imploded in less than two innings of work.
Bard hadn't been very effective in the minors, either, which was a cause for concern. In 7.1 innings of work, he allowed six earned runs on seven hits, earning himself a 7.36 ERA. He did strike out 10 batters while only walking two, but overall, it wasn't working out.
Daisuke Matsuzaka took over the No. 5 spot in Boston's starting rotation since Bard left and has had limited success. When Josh Beckett was placed on the disabled list just a few days ago, Franklin Morales was forced to make a spot-start. He was fantastic against the Chicago Cubs, and earned himself a second start.
I questioned whether Bard would replace Beckett in the rotation during his absence, but it seems that won't be happening. Beckett should be back soon, and with the news of Bard no longer wanting to start, he wouldn't even be an option anymore.
It will be interesting to see which situations manager Bobby Valentine uses Bard in. He had been the team’s setup man during former closer Jonathan Papelbon’s career in Boston, and that seems like his likely role. Alfredo Aceves has been good in the closer role, and it wouldn’t make much sense to switch things up now.
Bard’s admittance is the best-case scenario for his future and that of the Boston Red Sox. This is one less thing that Boston has to worry about the rest of the season.