When Daniel Bard takes the mound for the first time since his June 3 calamity in Toronto, the Boston Red Sox’s formerly prized right-hander will finally be back in the role he was always meant to fulfill: a reliever.
After a brutal stint as a starter this season, the Sox rightly demoted Bard to Triple-A Pawtucket and shifted him back into his previous slot of late-innings reliever. The results for the PawSox were not great: He posted a 7.03 ERA and walked 29 batters in just 32.0 innings.
Despite this lackluster performance, the Sox will promote Bard back to the MLB roster on Thursday (per ESPNBoston.com), giving him the chance to redeem himself after his horrendous first two months of 2012.
While Bard’s cumulative performance this season would seemingly promote skepticism among Sox fans, there is actually some hope and reason for optimism going forward.
Bard has pitched well of late, and now back in a role that suits him, he is primed to begin his return to form. Here are five reasons why he is going to be successful over the last month of the season.