There has been speculation from many that Daniel Bard is another bullpen loss or two from being yanked out of the rotation and shoved into the closer role the Red Sox kept him away from a few months back. Our own Brendan O'Toole already handled why this would be just a strange decision at this stage, but in case that wasn't convincing enough, general manager Ben Cherington has come out to say that no, Bard isn't moving back to the bullpen because of how the bullpen pitched through three games.
It's likely Bard is going to have to pitch his way out of the rotation in order to move back to the bullpen. If he's successful as a starter, moving him to the pen makes little sense, even with Aaron Cook around. If he fails in that role for a while, though, then of course the pen is an option. But as a preemptive buffering of the pen? That isn't going to happen.
Jay Jaffe looks at the glut of inexperienced closers around the majors this year, and looks to see if we can forecast how long these guys will get to keep this job. This is central to the Red Sox, regardless of who is in there, until Andrew Bailey returns from his thumb surgery. Speaking of Bailey's thumb...
Is Bobby Valentine killing sabermetrics with his lineup choices? Rob Neyer takes a look at Ron Chemlis's comments on the matter, and tells him to put that card back in the deck.
Valentine admits that he's killing the bullpen right now, though, as he says he needs to "manage it better." Pulling Melancon quick last Thursday was a bit questionable, but throwing Aceves in during the ninth, on the road, in a tie game? That took some chutzpah. Going four innings with Vicente Padilla was also a solid go. It's not all bad, so far. But it's not all good, either.
Larry Lucchino is on the same page as Ben Cherington, and thinks it's "silly" to overreact to the Red Sox poor start. It's easy to get swept up in the negativity of the team's start, especially after how September went, but let's think about it. If anything, Red Sox fans should know firsthand how much the season isn't over until all 162 games are played.
Tim Britton hears from Daniel Bard, and dishes on his strategy and the differences between attacking hitters in relief versus facing them as a starter.
Barry Zito threw a complete-game shutout at Coors Field yesterday. If you're wondering why the Red Sox couldn't catch a break over the weekend, it's because the baseball gods were hoarding all the luck for Zito.