BOSTON -- This was seen not as a quick fix, but as a process. Daniel Bard was sent to Double-A Portland to refine his mechanics and regain his confidence, not to demonstrate overnight that he was ready to return to the Red Sox.
But that day of return and possible redemption has arrived. According to the Portland Press-Herald, Bard was told by Sea Dogs manager Kevin Boles that he will be returning to the Red Sox on Wednesday.
To make room for Bard on the roster, the Sox optioned knuckleballer Steven Wright back to Pawtucket. Wright made his major-league debut in Tuesday night’s 13-0 loss to Oakland, eating up 3 2/3 innings in a game that was out of hand (8-0) when he entered. He was charged with 5 runs on 6 hits and 4 walks.
Bard has spent the better part of three weeks working with Portland pitching coach Bob Kipper.
“Just been simplifying everything,” Bard told the Press-Herald. “I think I’ve made some good strides through spring training, and this was a chance to build on what we did.
“There was no better guy to do it with than Kip. He’s got a simple message. He preaches a simple delivery and a simple approach. It’s what I’ve been successful with in the past and it’s what I got locked into here the last few weeks.”
Bard started out shakily in Portland, allowing four runs on three hits and a walk over his first three appearances. But he has been unscored upon in his last five outings, spanning six innings, walking three and striking out three.
He pitched a scoreless inning Tuesday night, throwing 8 of his 10 pitches for strikes.