The Red Sox announced on Wednesday afternoon that former reliever and starting pitcher, Daniel Bard, was claimed off of unconditional waivers by the Chicago Cubs. Bard had been working to convert himself back into a reliever since the Red Sox experimented with him in the starting rotation in 2012. It seems as though all of Bard’s problems started when he joined the starting rotation. Fans will recall Daniel Bard as being one of the leagues most dominate late innings reliever from 2009-2011. Primarily serving as a set up man in Boston’s bullpen, Bard held a 2.88 ERA over 197.0 innings pitched. However, after Bard pleaded with Red Sox brass and coaching staff to be converted into a starter, he was given the opportunity to join Boston’s starting staff in 2012. Unfortunately though, this proved to be the beginning of Daniel Bard’s downfall in Boston. Bard started 10 games during the 2012 campaign and gave up at least a run in every game. Adding to his struggles, Bard posted a WHIP close to 2.00 and couldn’t get his ERA below 5.30 over 54.1 innings of work. As a byproduct of his struggles, the Red Sox optioned Bard to AAA Pawtucket where they returned him to the bullpen but Bard continued to struggle. Over 32.0 innings of work on the minor league circuit, Bard posted an ERA over 7.00 with a WHIP just under 2.00. Although Bard did return to Boston as a reliever during September call ups, he showed no signs of improvement. So far this season, Daniel Bard has continued to regress despite facing lesser competition. Bard began the year in Portland where he pitched just 12 innings and allowed 9 earned runs on 11 hits. Additionally Bard showed control problems, walking 17 while striking out just 6. The final straw for Daniel Bard as member of the Boston Red Sox was a demotion to single A Lowell. In just one game for the Spinners Bard threw just one inning and walked 4 batters. Partially having grown tired trying to fix Bard and partially because they needed a 40 man roster spot, the Red Sox designated the 28 year old for assignment on September 1st. The claiming team, the Chicago Cubs, are not a stranger to Daniel Bard. The current President of baseball operations for the Chicago Cubs, Theo Epstein, drafted Daniel Bard back in 2006 when he was Boston’s General Manager. Obviously, Epstein knows that fixing Bard will take a tremendous amount of time and work but knowing the potential that Bard holds could make it worth the effort.
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