February 15, 2012

McClure: Bard Transition Is "Old School" Move

Pitching coach Bob McClure said he doesn't see what the big deal is about turning Daniel Bard into a starter.
We all used to do it [McClure's stats]. A lot of us were brought up through the pen and then went into the starting rotation. If you're going to look at Bard, go back 30-40 years ago. Even Jim Palmer started out of the bullpen. Back then, you'd get your feet wet, develop a third pitch, and then, "Let's look at this guy and see how he does." He's got his feet wet as far as being a reliever. He's had success already as a pitcher in the big leagues, so that's not a transition. The Orioles were famous for doing it. It's old school.
Bard wants to leave the memories of his 10.64 ERA (13 runs in 11 innings) last September in the past.
You can't help but think about it. But it's over with. It was a fluke thing for the team and for me personally. I'm not stupid. I know if I pitched better, we'd be playing in the playoffs. ... I think I had five good months and one really bad one and it just happened to be that one bad one came in September.
In June, July, and August, Bard allowed only four runs in 34 appearances (36.1 IP, 0.99).

Josh Beckett threw 50 pitches yesterday. McClure said he
looked pretty sharp. He looked very healthy. ... I think it shows the rest of the guys how serious they are about wanting to get this thing going. ... The stuff that happened last year, it happened. It's unfortunate but it happened. He's coming in here with something he wants to do and that's win the division.
Beckett's 2.89 ERA was 5th-lowest in the AL and only MVP/Cy Young winner Justin Verlander allowed fewer hits per nine innings. Beckett slumped in September, however, posting a 5.48 ERA in four starts.
I've been off the mound five or six times at home. That's my usual schedule. I'm ready to go.
John Tomase of the Herald looks at the Sox's pitching staff:
The Sox return the game's No. 1 offense, and Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury and the gang will score plenty of runs this season. The real mystery is how many the team will give up.

The Yankees, Rays, Angels and maybe even the Rangers expect to feature better starting pitching in 2012 than they did in '11. It’s unclear if the Red Sox will be able to make the same claim.

[U]ntil we see [success], it's hard to be anything more than cautiously optimistic.
McClure on Daisuke Matsuzaka:
Everything looks good. It looks like he's throwing naturally. It doesn't look like there's any hindrance to his delivery.
Clay Buchholz arrived in camp today. This Sunday is the official date for pitchers to report.

1 comment:

FenFan said...

You can point to Derek Lowe as an example of a pitcher who transitioned from the bullpen to a starting role well. An ERA+ of 199 as the Red Sox closer in 2000 and 177 as a starter in 2002. Somewhat mediocre since...

Actually, now that I look at his stat sheet, he has been amazingly durable as a starter. 32 or more starts each year since 2002 and the league leader in that category four times in the last seven years.