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

Jarrert Payton, 87.7 The …

Jarrert Payton, 87.7 The Game Chicago, previews Pats-Bears 10-24-14

Jarret Payton, son of NFL legend Walter Payton, joins MFB to breakdown the troubles in the Bears locker room, the team's struggles at home, and the upcoming match up against the Patriots.

It Is What It Is Cast: Patriots prepare for Matt Forte and the Bears

WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price look ahead to Sunday's game against the Bears and what the Patriots need to do to contain dynamic running back Matt Forte.

Peter King with Dale and Holley

We check in with SI/MMQB's Peter King for his weekly take on the Patriots and all things NFL.

We Hate Dwyane Wade - Ran…

We Hate Dwyane Wade - Ranking the Best/Worst in the NBA

Jackie MacMullan, ESPN Boston, Celtics will struggle to make the playoffs. 10-23-14

Jackie MacMullan joins MFB for the first time this season. She discusses the rejection of NBA lottery reform, Rajon Rondo, and the Celtics chances this season.

We Hate Dwyane Wade - Kirk Minihane Previews the Celtics

Kirk Minihane joins the We Hate Dwyane Wade Show to preview the upcoming Celtics season. Ben and Sam also discuss the Rajon Rondo/Jeff Green trade rumors and dabble in the classic NBA analytics debate.

Joe Castiglione wraps up …

Joe Castiglione wraps up the 2014 Red Sox Season with a Poem

Joe Castiglione does his annual wrap-up of the season by reading the poem by Bart Giamatti.

Mut and Bradford on the disappointing season for Jackie Bradley, Jr and Xander Bogaerts 9-28-14

Mut and Rob discuss the "kids" and the variety of young bodies the Red Sox called upon this season. Specifically, they look at Bogaerts and Bradley, Jr. and where things went wrong. They give their opinions on which one will right the ship next season.

Minor Details Ep. 101: Red Sox director of player development Ben Crockett on the state of the Red Sox system

Description: Red Sox farm director Ben Crockett looks back at the 2014 Red Sox prospect season by answering listener questions about a number of Red Sox prospects as well as broader issues and themes in the farm system.

Pierre McGuire, NBC Sport…

Pierre McGuire, NBC Sports, Bruins are playing much better hockey 10-23-14

Pierre McGuire joins the guys to talk about the Bruins, the Johnny Boychuck trade, and the rest of the NHL

Jack Edwards with Dale and Holley

We talk pucks with Jack Edwards of NESN for his take on an impressive win over the San Jose Sharks and the state of the B's in general.

Andy Brickley, NESN, thinks Torey Krug can be an all-around defensemen, 10-22-14

Brick talked about the emergence of Torey Krug as a solid D pairing with Seidenberg and how well the Power Play is playing. He contributes that to 2 different units competing. Brick also likes the versatility of Simon Gagne.

John Buccigross on hockey…

John Buccigross on hockey's popularity 10-23-14

The guys discussed hockey's place on the American sports landscape.

Headlines, Headlines, Headlines: Terror in Canada 10-23-14

The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.

LateGate part two 10-23-14

Revis was absent from practice and the guys wondered if this was the first time.

Pierre McGuire, NBC Sport…

Pierre McGuire, NBC Sports, Bruins are playing much better hockey 10-23-14

Pierre McGuire joins the guys to talk about the Bruins, the Johnny Boychuck trade, and the rest of the NHL

Three For All- Christian Fails to Prank Chicago Radio Station 10-23-14

Christian fails to prank Chicago radio, A Nun sings "Like a Virgin" and other lewd acts.

Jarrert Payton, 87.7 The Game Chicago, previews Pats-Bears 10-24-14

Jarret Payton, son of NFL legend Walter Payton, joins MFB to breakdown the troubles in the Bears locker room, the team's struggles at home, and the upcoming match up against the Patriots.

Ben Volin: I think Darrel…

Ben Volin: I think Darrelle Revis will be in the starting line-up this Sunday

We talk to Ben Volin of the Boston Globe, who broke the Darrelle Revis late-gate story.

Did Darrelle Revis handle his lateness and penalty appropriately?

Michael and Dale discuss the ins and outs of the Darrelle Revis late-gate, and whether his reaction was what the Patriots were looking for out of him,

Dale and Holley's Four at Four - Tardiness is not Godliness Edition 10-23-14

We tackle four topics about notorious incidents where Boston athletes (and media members) showed up LATE!

10 Years since the Red So…

10 Years since the Red Sox began their comeback and eventual World Series Championship

Mikey, Villani and Lenny are talking about the 2004 Red Sox on the anniversary of Game 4 of the ALCS with Dave Roberts steal abd Bill Mueller driving him in and what it was like to witness.

The Patriots record during the regular season and Super Bowl

Mikey, Mut and Lenny are talking about the Patriots and how they have stacked up through the years and what got them to the three championships and five Super Bowl appearances in the Brady-Belichick era.

Bill Belichick and the Patriots Draft History

Mikey and Mut take a call from someone who wants to criticize Belichick the GM and his history of drafting players and making moves in the draft.

SoccerCast - AJ Soares 10…

SoccerCast - AJ Soares 10-23-14

AJ Soares joins the show to talk about the Revs run to the playoffs, how Jermaine Jones has impacted the team, and should Lee Nguyen for MVP.

We Hate Dwyane Wade - Ranking the Best/Worst in the NBA

Sausage and Curtis fight back 10-21-14

The Dennis & Callahan Show producers fight back.

D&C's Breaking Balls: The…

D&C's Breaking Balls: The Proust Questionnaire and our producers suck 10-21-14

On this edition of Breaking Balls, Dino, Gerry and Kirk discuss their producers' performance and take the Proust Questionnaire.

More from this show

Kirk Minihane blasts his …

Kirk Minihane blasts his own show, 10-22-14

Sausage and Lumpy, the producers for the D&C show, recorded a podcast yesterday. They left A LOT of stuff on the cutting room floor. Luckily, MFB picked it all up and played the unedited version during the midday show. Kirk joined the show to discuss how hard it is working with Callahan and his two producers.

More from this show

The revenge of the produc…

The revenge of the producers 10-22-14

D&C react to Sausage and Curtis's podcast.

More from this show

Gay players in the NFL 10…

Gay players in the NFL 10-22-14

A heated debate on how hard it will be for a gay person in the NFL.

More from this show

Contrarian Patriot analys…

Contrarian Patriot analysts will never admit when they've been wrong

Michael and Dale talk Patriots, and Michael has some strong words for those who are ignoring history and what they've seen in favor of continuing a pessimistic and fatalistic view/agenda of the Patriots.

More from this show

Weei Writers