Daniel Bard Strongly Considering Pitching in Winter Ball to Get Ready for 2014 Season

Daniel BardDaniel Bard‘s 2013 season has been just as disastrous as his 2012 season. It’s no wonder that he’s willing to do whatever it takes to move forward in 2014.

Bard, who was claimed off waivers by the Cubs from the Red Sox earlier this month, is strongly considering pitching in winter ball to get a head start on 2014, according to the Chicago Tribune’s Mark Gonzales. Bard has only thrown bullpen sessions since joining the Cubs.

“There’s a good chance of it happening,” Bard reportedly said of pitching in winter ball. “We at least need the innings, just to have something going into spring training next year.”

Bard has been limited to 16 minor league appearances and two major league appearances with the Red Sox this season because of injury problems. The tumultuous season comes on the heels of an awful 2012 campaign in which the Red Sox unsuccessfully tried to convert Bard back into a starting pitcher. Bard appears to be making strides from a health perspective, though, so there’s at least some reason for optimism in Chicago.

“Everything is feeling good,” Bard told Gonzales. “I’m finally truly healthy and actually able to work on stuff instead of worrying about re-injuring the ab muscle, so it’s been good.

“If my mechanics are right, it’s not a concern.”

Bard reportedly said that there are a couple of opportunities for him to pitch in Puerto Rico this winter that he could finalize soon. The goal, of course, is for Bard to get back to what made him one of the most daunting setup men in baseball from 2009 through 2011.

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

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