Just a couple weeks remain before manager Bobby Valentine will have to make a final decision on where Daniel Bard fits on the pitching staff.
Bard, who has been a reliable reliever for Boston since 2009, was at one time seen as the heir apparent to Jonathan Papelbon (and, in the dark early days of 2011, was even wished upon by some fans to take the closer’s spot). His relief appearances got increasingly shaky last year, though.
Then, after talking with management this winter about becoming a starter again, Bard was brought into spring training with a chance at the rotation. He’s been developing pitches and working on throwing from the windup.
This spring, Bard has thrown 12 2/3 innings over four games, walking 10 and striking out six. In his latest start against Toronto on Tuesday, he gave up three runs on five hits over five innings -– but retired 12 of his last 14 batters.
What role do you think Bard should have this season?
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