Bobby Valentine joined ESPN NY 98.7 FM's Michael Kay Show for his weekly appearance Friday and weighed in on a number of topics.
• On Daniel Bard's demotion to Triple-A Pawtucket:
"His last outing he threw 5 strikes in about 33 pitches, and he seemed to be outside of himself. There was a general consensus that he needed to pitch, but ... with his inability to throw the ball over the plate, it didn't seem like the major league mound was the place he should be pitching."
Valentine said he agreed with Bard in thinking it was a mechanical rather than a mental issue, and said, "I think Daniel will get that stuff worked out and be back here ASAP."
• On injured Red Sox left fielder Carl Crawford:
Valentine said Crawford "played catch for the first time in a couple months" on Friday, but wouldn't pinpoint a specific target for a return.
"I'm trying not to put any dates on this thing. Today is the first time he's throwing since he hurt his elbow, which was hurt while he was rehabilitating his wrist. He's going to take it step by step, but he's really confident, so I doubt it's going to be a real long time if he stays on course.
"He looks good right now playing catch, how's that?"
• On 19-year-old Nationals rookie Bryce Harper:
Valentine says Harper is a "big-time player," complimenting his intensity as well as his hitting ability and strong throwing arm.
To listen to the full podcast, CLICK HERE.
Valentine also addresses the comments about Bard made by Terry Francona, who said Thursday he was "shocked" to learn of the demotion of Bard, whom Tito considered to be "on the cusp of being an All-Star."