Friday, October 7, 2011

Bard as Starter

In another good post-mordem article about the 2011 Red Sox, Chad Finn openly ponders moving Bard to a starting role. And makes a good point for doing so:
While keeping in mind that he'd probably pace himself more in the rotation -- at his best, he can come in and let it fly Gossage-style in his current role -- his career numbers right now look like one extremely impressive season for a starting pitcher: 197 innings, 132 hits, 76 walks, 213 strikeouts, 1.06 WHIP, 2.88 ERA.
I think we may have talked about this before, but i'd be a bit scared to move Bard to a starter. Tossing that fastball up to 100 times a start seems like a recipe for disaster. But we certainly need starting pitching - it would be easier to replace him as a reliever than it would be to go out and get another quality starter.


  1. high depends on the papelbon situation. i don't think any of us are fleeting enough to blame paps for a blown save (of the season). making mention of it alone is discredit enough. he pitched incredibly well for us this year, and given the choice between bard and paps, it's a no brainer for paps next season (theo, more importantly, john and larry, we know you've got cash to spend on shite ((lackey, drew, dare i mention cc (((i don't want to jinx next season)))))). so what for bard? being a setup man seems like a great job, provided we've got starting pitchers (i've just started a pitcher myself... either i'm a wonderful GM, or i'm qualified to play per clubhouse rules), which we don't, or may not have (beckett ((in shape, "nutritional issues" aside), lester ((yep, live with it), bucholz ((repaired, he's still young)), anyone else? daisuke is off the radar, wake please be done, l... i'm not even...). maybe we could spend some money on one guy (please not who i think you're thinking about) or another... but still have a spot to fill. so what to do with aceves? i think aceves fills bard spot, but in longer relief, like a 2 outs in the 7th through 8th setup man, very consistently. (let me know if i need to close any parens here). so put bard in a starting spot in april, see how it works out. wouldn't it be something if he solved his control issues by taking some off, became something bigger than a setup man (bard has got, in my mind, the third highest value as a pitcher on the sox right now behind "the starter" ((out of shape, beckett)) and "the closer").

    wow, that's probably not cohesive... i'm the sitter tonight, without a minute of sleep last night and "celebrating" nonetheless.

    posting it anyway. i signed up for a marathon today.

  2. I can think of a handful of pitchers who have successfully made the move from bullpen to starter. Adam Wainwright in Saint Louis is one. C.J. Wilson in Texas is another. But there are plenty of relievers with Bard-like numbers and there is a reason they don't all become starters. It's one thing to blow away three or four or five hitters with your fastball. It's another to work through someone's lineup three or four times. Are Bard's fastball and slider enough, or are hitters going to figure them out in the later innings? I'd love to see him develop another pitch before I take the possibility seriously.