During an appearance of Rob Bradford’s, of WEEI, podcast, Daniel Bard expressed his desire to start for the Boston Red Sox in 2012.
With John Lackey out for the season due to Tommy John surgery and Tim Wakefield likely not returning, there are two vacant spots in the starting rotation and Bard wants one of them.
“I told Ben [Cherington] when I heard [John] Lackey was having surgery and [Tim Wakefield] is a free agent, I saw two openings in the starting rotation,” said Bard, who initially was a starter as a Red Sox minor leaguer. “The last two years I haven’t said it much, but in my own head, just watching the guys in this league that have had a lot of success in a starting role, I just felt like I could do that. I’ve got as good or better raw stuff as them. I try to keep myself in good shape. I felt like everything I have at this point, that I could have success in that role. So, I told Ben that.”
But when Jonathan Papelbon signed with the Philadelphia Phillies, Bard believed the opportunity to start was no longer an option as the team would need him to close.
It turns out Bard’s assumption was wrong as the Red Sox and new manager Bobby Valentine want him to start as well.
“It turns out they feel pretty strongly about me trying to be a starter, and I do, too. So, as of right now, that’s how it stays.”
Bard has been extremely successful as a reliever with a 2.88 career ERA but came into the Red Sox organization as a starter and pitched in the College World Series as a starter for the North Carolina Tar Heels.
If Bard can make the successful transition to starting, all the Red Sox would have to find in free agency is a fifth starter, a lot easier than s