The Boston Red Sox made several cuts on Thursday as they continue to trim the roster down to the necessary 25 players.
The most talked about move, though not necessarily the most surprising, was the team sending relief pitcher Daniel Bard to Double-A Portland. An understatement would be to say that the former all-star caliber set-up man had not been pitching well of late, but injuries to key members of the bullpen kept Bard’s chances of making the team in question throughout spring training.
The 27-year-old, trying to bounce back from an awful 2012 campaign, posted a 6.75 ERA in eight Grapefruit League games this spring. He gave up nine hits and four walks, struggling to keep runners off base all month, although his velocity was very good at times. Bard struck out 10 of the 37 batters that he faced in the preseason.
Bard’s demotion means that the Red Sox are leaning toward keeping fellow right-hander Clay Mortensen. Though Mortensen hasn’t pitched much better than Bard this spring (5.79 ERA), the 28-year-old is out of minor league options.
Other moves made by the Red Sox on Thursday were sending reserve infielders Brock Holt and Mauro Gomez to Triple-A and placing injured shortstop Stephen Drew on the special seven-day disabled list for concussions. The latter move confirms that Jose Iglesias will be the team’s starting shortstop on opening day—a move that I strongly disagree with.
(JM Catellier is the author of the book Fixing Baseball, a guide to restructuring the Hall of Fame. Follow him on Twitter: @FixingBaseball and Facebook, and check out his site: www.fixingbaseball.com)