Friday, August 31, 2012
PawSox coach thinks Bard will succeed
By Joe McDonald
PAWTUCKET, R.I. -- Daniel Bard is back in the majors with the Boston Red Sox, and PawSox pitching coach Rich Sauveur hopes he never sees the right-handed reliever back in the minors again.
Bard was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket on June 5 and spent the majority of the summer with the PawSox before he was recalled Thursday. His time with Pawtucket was not easy, but Bard handled the situation as a professional. Sauveur believes Bard will return to form.
"He's handled it very, very well," Sauveur said. "It was tough situation and he had a lot going on in his head. Every time -- good or bad -- he was positive the next day. Of course, when he did struggle he would be down on himself that night, but to see him the next day, getting right back up and being positive, it was outstanding.
"It was a tough situation he was in, but he worked very hard at trying to fix what it was. Was it a mental problem? It was. Was it a physical problem, a delivery problem? To some extent it was. We changed a couple of things on him and his last three outings were the best outings he's had all year. He was the most consistent with arm slot, command and everything."
Bard made a total of 31 appearances for the PawSox (one start) and posted a 3-2 record with a 7.03 ERA and held opponents to a .254 average. In 10 of his last 15 outings for Pawtucket, he held the opposition scoreless.
Sauveur believes Bard will have success again in the big leagues.
"He just needs to trust himself and not try to do too much," Sauveur said. "It's all about having confidence. Once he gets the confidence and the command, the velocity will come back."