Daniel Bard Working Toward Return, Thinks He Could Help Red Sox This Season

Daniel BardDaniel Bard isn’t ready to write off the 2013 season.

Bard has had a tumultuous year that’s been riddled with both inconsistency and injuries. He hasn’t pitched in the majors since April 27, and he hasn’t pitched in the minors since May 15. However, the 28-year-old told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford that he’s still hopeful that he’ll return in time to make an impact with the Red Sox this season.

“It seems kind of crazy to say right now considering I’ve only thrown the last three days. But, like I said, everything is feeling good, and there’s just enough time let to give me two or three weeks to get going again, a couple of outings in the minors,” Bard reportedly said. “Hopefully, they’re still in need of bullpen guys because I feel like I can definitely help. I want to help.

“I’ve obviously been keeping track of the team. It looks like they’re having a lot of fun up there. I wouldn’t mind being a part of that at the end of the year.”

The Red Sox have used their fair share of relievers this season. Joel Hanrahan, Andrew Bailey and Andrew Miller all suffered season-ending injuries, Franklin Morales and Alex Wilson are each in the midst of a rehab stint, and Matt Thornton was placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday. The Red Sox have been able to weather the storm, but Bard is out to show that help could come from an unlikely source.

Bard, whose disastrous 2012 season is well-documented, didn’t fare any better on the mound this year. He appeared in just two games with Boston, and he posted a 6.39 ERA in 12 2/3 innings over 13 appearances with Double-A Portland. An abdominal injury then compounded his issues, and he’s been trying to work his way back ever since.

“If there’s one thing this year has taught me, it’s to stop playing for myself. Every time I put a plan in motion, it never goes quite like I had it in my mind,” Bard reportedly said. “But if I had to write it out — the arm feels great, the ab feels like it’s healed, and we’re getting it back to full strength. So in my mind, it’s not an arm injury, so as soon as my arm is in shape, and the ab is to the point where I can pitch off the mound, I’m ready to go.

“It’s just a matter of getting everything back in shape. But I’m excited to go. I want to get back and pitch this year and help the team out this year. There’s no doubt in my mind about that.”

There might not be any doubt in Bard’s mind, but there’s certainly some doubt in the minds of others. It’s up to him to prove that his positive outlook is more than just wishful thinking.

Have a question for Ricky Doyle? Send it to him via Twitter at @TheRickyDoyle or send it here.

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