The most up-to-date content on the planet
this just in
 RSS
WEEI » This Just In » Nieves: Bard 'was never going to be a quick fix'
Thu, 05/16/2013 - 9:35am  

Nieves: Bard 'was never going to be a quick fix'

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Even as the Red Sox celebrated their 9-2 victory on Wednesday night, there was a disconcerting development elsewhere in the organization. Daniel Bard had a dreadful outing in Double-A Portland, walking five batters and throwing just eight of 30 pitches for strikes, the latest episode in what has become a progressively worse struggle to find the strike zone.

Bard threw strikes on just 27 percent of his pitches on Wednesday, his worst percentage of any outing in the last two years. In five appearances since returning to Double-A after a brief promotion to the big leagues, Bard has now thrown strikes on just 34 percent of his pitches. He’s walked 13 in 3 2/3 innings.

Word of the most recent derailment took little time to reach Sox pitching coach Juan Nieves.

“I’m concerned over, of course, how he’s doing mentally,” said Nieves. “You’re always concerned about a guy’s mental state when he’s engaged in an at-bat and doesn’t do well. It continues to be the same thing.”

That Bard has seen his performance take such a frightful turn in such a short period of time is somewhat stunning. When he was called up to the big leagues at the end of April, team officials thought there was a chance that he could pitch his way back into a regular role in the bullpen. Now, it would be difficult to imagine Bard seeming more distant from a return to the big leagues.

But Nieves suggested that the idea that Bard’s performance has not been on a steady upward trajectory is not unexpected, given his struggles of a year ago.

“It was never going to be a quick fix with him, because of the residue of everything that has happened through a whole year of battle. It’s going to take some time,” he said. “I think the strength is there, the arm strength is there, it’s a matter of him buying into it and creating some consistency. You know what it comes down to? Him not thinking about hitters or anything like that, just hit the glove, hit the glove, hit the glove. Let the stuff play. His stuff is too unbelievable to be turned off, or to be aware of, oh my God I’m going to get hit, except he’s not getting hit, because he’s walking guys.”

The Sox had remained committed to keeping Bard on a regular schedule in Portland. His outing on Wednesday came with three days off. Alterations to his plan in the minors — whether to the venue where he’s pitching or the way the team approaches his scheduled outings or … something now seems inevitable.

“We’ll have to look into the next step and we’ll have another plan for him,” said the Sox pitching coach. “Staying the course, but we might add some things. We’ll get together and talk about it and I’m sure there’s going to be a conference call. We’ll talk about it.”

One thing that Nieves made clear is that he did not see value in having Bard shut down for a stretch of time. That, the pitching coach believed, would be counterproductive in the effort to get the pitcher back on track in his career.

“Backing off, I never want to back off a guy. He’s not that type of guy,” said Nieves. “He’s the kind of guy, throw your stuff over the plate and it will play.”




Audio On Demand

Mike Reiss with Dale, Hol…

Mike Reiss with Dale, Holley and Thornton

Dale, Michael and Jerry dig into the details of this draft for the Patriots with ESPN's Mike Reiss.

NFL SUNDAY with Mike Giardi and Chris Price -- Roger Goodell is maddening! -- 5-1-16

Giardi and Price discuss the Tom Brady appeal getting overturned and Roger Goodell's victory tour. The guys can't believe the victory lap and some of his behavior. The more you listen to him, the more frustrating his behavior becomes.

NFL SUNDAY with Mike Giardi and Chris Price -- A look at the AFC East post NFL Draft -- 5-1-16

Giardi and Price break down how the teams in the AFC East altered their futures after the NFL Draft weekend.

Jeff Goodman, ESPN, joins…

Jeff Goodman, ESPN, joins Giardi and Bradford to preview the NBA Draft and the future of the Celtics - "They're looking to get a starter this year, a starter in next year's draft and possibly a free agent starter...Kevin Durant is not coming here." ...

Jeff Goodman calls Mike and Rob to drop a ton of knowledge on the upcoming NBA Draft and some of the names available. Sorry fans - he doesn't see Kevin Durant or any big-named free agents coming to Boston and thinks they'll end up making the third pick this season. He also says that there is NO WAY he would trade next year's Brooklyn pick because the draft will be very deep. He discusses the chances of trading with Philly for Okafor, why he like Kris Dunn so much and much more.

Head Coach Brad Stevens with Dale and Holley

Brad Stevens makes his first appearance on the Dale and Holley with Thornton show. We discuss the Atlanta series and what went wrong, and where the Celtics go from here.

WEEI Celtics Podcast - NBA.com's Ian Thomsen on Spurs-Thunder Ending, Danny Ainge's next move for Celtics 5/3

Ian Thomsen of NBA.com joined Sam Packard and Jared Weiss to discuss the next moves for Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics with the NBA Draft Lottery rapidly approaching. They discussed the crazy ending to Game 2 of Thunder vs Spurs and picked the player they would build their pretend new franchise around.

Xander Bogaerts Player of…

Xander Bogaerts Player of the Game Interview

Joe and Tim talk with Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts after he had another multi-hit game as the Red Sox beat the Colorado Rockies 8-3.

Red Sox Review with Christian Arcand 5-22-16

Christian recaps the Red Sox 5-2 victory over Cleveland.

David Ortiz Player Of The Game Interview

Joe Castiglione and Tim Neverett talked to the Sox DH, who almost hit for the cycle in the win over the Indians at Fenway.

SUNDAY SKATE with DJ Bean…

SUNDAY SKATE with DJ Bean and Pete Blackburn -- A look toward the future for the Bruins -- 4-17-16

DJ and Pete continue to assess the season that was for the Bruins and look toward the future for the franchise and how they can improve.

SUNDAY SKATE with WEEI's DJ Bean and Uproxx's Pete Blackburn -- They got what they wanted...Claude Julien is staying in Boston -- 4-17-16

DJ and Pete are together for the final Sunday Skate of the season. They get into their overall thoughts on the season, the Bruins keeping Claude Julien on as head coach and the end-of-season press conferences last week. They discuss the rebuild process, what the Bruins need and how they can obtain it. Plenty of callers have their own theories and opinions on all of these topics as well.

Butch Stearns with DJ Bean and Pete Blackburn -- The season is officially over for the Bruins; where do we go from here? -- 4-10-16

Butch is joined by two-thirds of the Sunday Skate show in DJ and Pete. The guys discuss the problems with Bruins including leadership and grit, who should stay and who should go and if Claude is to blame.

Jim Polito hangs up on us…

Jim Polito hangs up on us, 5-24-16

Jim Polito of WTAG in Worcester joins us for a few minutes to talk about the district attorney and how the show should stick to sports.

Turtleboy on Auburn cop killer case, 5-24-16

Turtleboy from Turtleboy Sports joins the guys to talk about the cop killer.

Headlines, Headlines, Headlines--Masterbating to celebrities, Cosby, Kevin Paul Dupont

The list of top 20 celebrities people masterbate to, Cosby is in trouble again, and Dupont wrote another column.

Jackie MacMullan talks Ce…

Jackie MacMullan talks Celtics draft hopefuls with Ordway, Merloni and Fauria 5-24-16

Jackie MacMullan of ESPN calls in to discuss who she thinks the Celtics are going to draft with the #3 pick, and also gives her opinion on what trades the Celtics could pull off this off-season.

The Red Sox have built an unbelievable young core 5-24-16

There are so many good, young players on the Red Sox that it's hard to pick out the top 3. Glenn, Lou and Christian debate which of the young guys on the Sox are the most valuable and which ones could possibly be traded for a starting pitcher.

Kevin Love gets benched as the Raptors tie the series again LeBron and the Cavs 5-24-16

Kevin Love sat out for the entire 4th quarter for the second straight game against the Raptors, and Glenn, Lou and Christian can't believe the excuse Tyronn Lue gave to the media.

Does continuing to fight …

Does continuing to fight make Tom Brady selfish?

Stephen A Smith thinks so, but what does his own fan-base think?

Draymond Green avoids suspension, plus Holley wants NBA players to man-up and stop whining

We discuss the infamous nut kick and why NBA players have been so whiny this post-season.

Bruins re-up D-man Kevan Miller to a multi-year deal

We discuss what it means for the B's

Planet Mikey Show Hour 4 …

Planet Mikey Show Hour 4 5-23-16

Hour 4 of The Planet Mikey Show w/ Christian Arcand.

Planet Mikey Show Hour 3 5-23-16

Hour 3 of The Planet Mikey Show w/ Christian Arcand

Planet Mike Show Hour 2 5-23-16

Hour 2 of The Planet Mikey Show w/ Christian Arcand

Teeing Off With Ben and N…

Teeing Off With Ben and Nick. The Olympics

This week we talk about top golfers dropping out of the Olympic games.

It Is What It Is Cast - Chris Price talks to Phil Perry about Tom Brady & the latest Deflategate news

In the latest It Is What It Is podcast, Chris Price talks with Comcast’s Phil Perry about the latest Deflategate news, what’s next for Tom Brady and what chance he might have when it comes to playing in the opener. The two also take a look at some guys on the roster bubble and which rookies have the best chance of having an impact in 2016 and beyond.

Sports Check Up – Ep.1: Christian Fauria and Dr. Thomas Gill discuss recent Red Sox injuries

Former New England Football Pro Christian Fauria and one of Boston's premier sports medicine doctors and orthopedic surgeons to the pro's, Dr. Thomas Gill of Steward Health Care, discuss some of the recent injuries that have plagued the Boston Red Sox and how you can avoid similar injuries in your everyday life.

Kirk goes on a rant, orde…

Kirk goes on a rant, orders Gerry's mic shut off, 5-23-16

Kirk rants about Gerry being Corporate Callahan and commands Paul to shut Gerry's mic off.

More from this show

Red Sox have three MVPs r…

Red Sox have three MVPs right now, 5-23-16

Ortiz, Bogaerts, and Jackie Bradley Jr are all MVP candidates. Chili Davis should be too.

More from this show

Jim Polito hangs up on us…

Jim Polito hangs up on us, 5-24-16

Jim Polito of WTAG in Worcester joins us for a few minutes to talk about the district attorney and how the show should stick to sports.

More from this show

Ted Olson on GMA talking …

Ted Olson on GMA talking Brady appeal, Gerry reads Kings Things, 5-23-16

Brady lawyer, Ted Olson, speaks about the latest Deflategate news on GMA and Gerry reads Larry King's latest Kings Things.

More from this show

Michael McCann - Odds are…

Michael McCann - Odds are low that NFLPA/Brady's latest legal petition will be successful

We discuss the latest developments in the story that won't die (Deflategate) with the great Michael McCann of SI and UNH law school.

More from this show

News & Analysis