Daniel Bard‘s Opening Day status no longer hangs in the balance. The hard-throwing righty will begin the season in the minors.
The Red Sox announced multiple roster moves on Thursday, including the decision to option Bard to Double-A Portland. The club also announced that Stephen Drew has been placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list (retroactive to March 27), and Mauro Gomez and Brock Holt have been optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket.
The decision to send Bard to Portland ends speculation about whether the Red Sox would start the season with him in the big league bullpen or ship him down to the farm to further work on his mechanics. Bard had been competing with Clayton Mortensen for a roster spot, but Mortensen was out of options, which may have also played a role in the decision.
As far as Drew, the shortstop theoretically could return for Boston’s second game of the season on April 3. That almost certainly won’t happen, though, as Drew hasn’t played in a game since March 7, and there remains no timetable for this return.
With Gomez and Holt getting sent down, it looks as if Mike Carp and Pedro Ciriaco have secured roster spots, although that news doesn’t come as much of a surprise.
One glaring omission from the roster moves: Jackie Bradley Jr. The young outfielder’s fate still hangs in the balance.
With the moves, the Red Sox now have 32 players in major league camp, including 28 players from the 40-man roster (one on the seven-day disabled list), one on the 60-day disabled list and three non-roster invitees.