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

MMQB's Peter King with Da…

MMQB's Peter King with Dale, Holley and Keefe

We had an impromptu visit from Peter King from SI / MMQB to our Fenway Studios and decided to talk some NFL and Patriots with him.

Phil Perry, CSNNE on the Patriots and NFL free agency

Pete talks with The Senator, Phil Perry about the Patriots trading for Dwayne Allen, ruling out a return to New England for Martellus Bennett. They also talk about the potential future of Patriots backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo and some of the big names in NFL free agency

NFL SUNDAY...the final segment of the year -- 2-5-17

Pete, Thornton and Price give their final thoughts and predictions for the Super Bowl.

LaVar Ball with Dale, Hol…

LaVar Ball with Dale, Holley and Keefe

Dale, Holley and Rich Keefe discuss NBA lottery pick Lonzo Ball with his very outspoken father Lavar Ball. The guys touch on the Celtics, his feud with his sons' high school coach, Lonzo being better than Steph Curry and much more.

Kirk and Callahan- Will Isaiah Thomas win a title in Boston? 3-7-17

Kirk, Gerry, and Alex Reimer discuss whether or not Isaiah Thomas will win a title in Boston.

Kirk and Callahan- Celtics lose after Thomas mishandles the ball 3-6-17

Gerry, Kirk, and Trenni react to the Celtics loss against the Suns.

Brian Johnson Player of t…

Brian Johnson Player of the Game Interview 5-27-17

Joe, Tim, & Lou Merloni talk with Red Sox starting pitcher Brian Johnson who pitched a complete game 5 hit shutout of the Seattle Mariners at Fenway Park.

Eduardo Rodriguez Player of the Game Interview 5-26-17

Jot & Tim talk with Red Sox starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez who went 6 scoreless innings as the Red Sox shutout the Seattle Mariners 3-0 in the series opener.

Drew Pomeranz Player of the Game Interview 5-25-17

Joe and Tim talk with Red Sox starting pitcher Drew Pomeranz who got the win and tied his career high in strikeouts tonight with 11 as the Red Sox beat the Texas Rangers 6-2.

Bruce Cassidy with Dale, …

Bruce Cassidy with Dale, Holley and Keefe

Dale, Holley and Keefe interview the newest coach of the Boston Bruins for the first time, Bruce Cassidy.

The 1972 Bruins

Highlights

Saturday Skate - Bruins and the All-Star break

Guys talk the Bruins season so far and the All-Star Break

K&C - Casting Couch ratin…

K&C - Casting Couch ratings are revealed 5-26-17

The long awaited numbers for the Casting Couch are unveiled.

K&C - Mut loves Dining Playbook; Pete Sheppard has a new favorite player 5-26-17

Hour 4: Mut is a huge fan of Dining Playbook.

K&C - Pete Sheppard talked Buccaneers football 5-26-17

Hour 3: Pirating Pete continues.

OMF - David Price is comi…

OMF - David Price is coming back, Xander Bogaerts is delivering sans homeruns, and other Sox tales 5-26-17

Adam Schefter continues to wave the "Garoppolo is staying" banner. David Price may be the one saying he is ready. Or he's just tired of Pawtucket. And can Devin Marrero steal Pablo Sandoval's starting job?

OMF - What does Ordway want for the Celtics offseason? We're still not sure 5-26-17

David Price is slated to join the big Sox Monday vs. the White Sox. Jaylen Brown has silenced his critics who wish he was Buddy Hield or Kris Dunn. And we go to the tape to figure out what exactly Glenn wants during the NBA offseason.

OMF - Celtics offseason is full of questions; most of them pertain to Lebron James 5-26-17

The Boston Celtics have taken a lot of steps forward this year and gave the fans an entertaining season. Going forward, Danny Ainge will be busy trying to get this team to the next level. How will he tackle the obstacle that Lebron and the Cavaliers present?

Dale, Holley and Keefe's …

Dale, Holley and Keefe's Freestyle Friday Hour 4 - Bill Polian does it again and all topics on the table

Hour 4 we go back to some Sox and Celts, plus Bill Polian once again says something supremely stupid.

Dale, Holley and Keefe's Freestyle Friday Hour 3 - David Price's return and other Red Sox items, NBA Super Teams

Hour 3 starts with lots of Sox talk, plus we continue some NBA discussion.

Dale, Holley and Keefe's Freestyle Friday Hour 2 - Celtics Direction and Future

Hour 2 focuses mostly on what the Celtics should do now that their season is over... where should they go in their future?

Ep. 59: Kirk’s Mailbag

Ep. 59: Kirk’s Mailbag

Kirk Minihane is back after a brief hiatus and answers questions from listeners about various things including WEEI personalities, the state of the K&C Casting Couch, his rift with John Dennis and more.

Ep. 58: Mike Finkel, Author of True Story and The Stanger in the Woods

Kirk Minihane talks to the author of the best selling book "The Stranger in the Woods" Mike Finkel. It is a crazy story of a hermit leaving in Maine. Mike is also the author of "True Story" which was made into a movie staring Jonah Hill and James Franco. Mike talks about how the movie came out, his thoughts on Jonah Hill portraying him, and if it was true to the book.

Ep. 57: Garry W. Tallent, founding member of the E Street Band

Kirk Minihane, Springsteen super fan, is joined by Garry W. Tallent, founding member of the E Street Band. Kirk and Garry talk about what it's like on tour with Bruce, how the band goes about selecting songs for the tour, Garry's projects away from the band, and Garry's upcoming solo tour that will bring him to the New England area.

The Real K&C - Trenni on …

The Real K&C - Trenni on top, OTA videos & thoughtfully non-rhythmic 5-26-17

Ken Laird and Chris Curtis recap an action packed Friday edition of Kirk and Callahan

The Real K&C – Double birds, fart noises & picture days 5-24-17

Ken Laird and Chris Curtis are in after a K&C Wednesday show for the post-show gossip.

#DORK 15: Best Sports Video Games

Rich Keefe & Ryan Davey discuss the best sports video games of all-time. They break them down by sport and then ultimately crown a Top 5. Plus This Week in #DORK and the Pick of the Podcast.

Ep. 59: Kirk’s Mailbag

Ep. 59: Kirk’s Mailbag

Kirk Minihane is back after a brief hiatus and answers questions from listeners about various things including WEEI personalities, the state of the K&C Casting Couch, his rift with John Dennis and more.

More from this show

K&C - Casting Couch ratin…

K&C - Casting Couch ratings are revealed 5-26-17

The long awaited numbers for the Casting Couch are unveiled.

More from this show

K&C - The Celtics season …

K&C - The Celtics season is over; C's fans gave the team a standing ovation 5-26-17

Hour 1: Kirk, Gerry and Mut talked about the Celtics blowout loss.

More from this show

K&C - Pete Sheppard talke…

K&C - Mut loves Dining Pl…

News & Analysis