Ready or not, Daniel Bard will rejoin the Red Sox. At this point, it's not a matter of if he'll return, but when.
Despite Bard's string of shaky appearances ?? he's walked 12 batters in his last six outings ?? Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington told reporters in New York that Bard would be promoted sometime this season.
"It's important to get him back here in this environment again and being around people he knows well," Cherington said. "We're trying to find the right time to do that that's fair to everyone. He's not the first really good pitcher to go through a down time. He's going to come back from it.
"We're going to help him come back from it and part of that is getting him back to this environment so he can continue to do the work he's started and do it around guys he knows well."
After starting the season in Boston's starting rotation, Bard suddenly lost his command on the mound on June 3 against the Blue Jays, where he walked six batters and plunked two more. Shortly after the disastrous start, he was demoted to Pawtucket.
Bard's been trying to figure himself out ever since. Through 28 appearances for the PawSox, Bard has issued 29 walks, fanned 30 batters and posted a 7.45 ERA ?? 24 runs that came in 29 innings.
Regardless of the numbers, Cherington plans to promote Bard. The GM believes the adrenaline rush in the majors could help Bard revive his career, considering he was a dominant set-up man from 2009 to 2011.
"Right now just focused on getting him going on right track," said Cherington. "He knows exactly what he needs to do and he's working on it every day. "There are days where he's a click away and maybe he is. He's got enough talent."
He'll try to recapture that magic in Boston, whether it's before or after major-league rosters expand on Sept. 1.
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