Daniel Bard Draws Comparisons to Former Red Sox Pitcher Derek Lowe After First Spring Training Game

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Daniel Bard Draws Comparisons to Former Red Sox Pitcher Derek Lowe After First Spring Training GameTowards the end of the 2001 season, the Red Sox started then-reliever Derek Lowe in three games, and the conversion proved to be a success for the rest of his career. Now, one of baseball's top experts believes Daniel Bard will have the same fate.

According to ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney, Bard looked good in his first spring training outing Thursday in a B-game against the Minnesota Twins, and Olney saw signs of the former Sox closer-turned-starter in him.

"I watched some of the Twins-Red Sox B-game on Thursday, and Daniel Bard looked good in throwing from the windup, fluid and comfortable. He reminds you physically of Derek Lowe, athletic and tall, and if you recall, Lowe moved back and forth successfully between the rotation and the bullpen," Olney said in reaction to Bard's impressive outing.

"Bard has better raw stuff, with his near 100 mph fastball. If Bard can make the transition, the Boston rotation could be pretty good, with Jon Lester, Josh Beckett and Clay Buchholz," Olney added.

It looks like all systems are go for Bard, and the Sox flamethrower should be ready for the rotation come Opening Day.

Aetna Strikeouts for A Cause

For every strikeout by a Red Sox pitcher at Fenway Park in June, Aetna will donate $250 to Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program. Through June 25, the donation mark stands at $30,000.

Through their continued efforts in the local community, Aetna is helping to build a healthier world -- one city and one strikeout at a time.

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