Scout on Bard: 'Like him better in pen'

TORONTO -- Here's one scout's postmortem on Daniel Bard's first big-league start:

"He was OK, but I still like him better out of the bullpen. I know he said he was changing speeds on his fastball, but he lost three miles [per hour] off his slider, too. I think he was getting tired. It's really tough to be a two-pitch pitcher and start. The changeup? Not much there.

"But it really doesn't matter what I think, or Bobby [Valentine] thinks or anybody else thinks. It will all show up. I think it will be either very good, or very bad. They probably should have gone out and gotten another starter, but they bet big, and I think they've got to give it two months and see how it goes.''

According to Inside Edge, Bard averaged 96 mph through his first 45 pitches, then tapered to an average of 93 by the 75th pitch.

"That's OK,'' the scout said, "but that shows me he was getting tired."

Bard also maintained an 83 mph average on his slider through his first 30 pitches, and tapered off to 80.

Bard said he felt strong and thought he had another 25-30 pitches in him when Valentine took him out. Velocity doesn't tell all, by any means, and according to Inside Edge, only 2 of 23 balls were hit well off Bard, an .087 percentage. He also had 18 swings and misses, 9 each on his fastball and slider.