Once one of the top setup men in all of baseball, Daniel Bard was designated for assignment by the Boston Red Sox on Sunday to make room for recent acquisition Quintin Berry.
The 28-year old was a dominant force in the Red Sox bullpen from 2009-2011, but issues with command, confidence and injuries derailed a career that many thought would eventually lead to a closer's role. Bard pitched in two games for the Red Sox this season, but was sent down to the minors after control issues.
Since being sent down to the minors this season, Bard has pitched 6.1 innings with 10 wild pitches, 23 walks at Double-A Portland, the Gulf Coast League and short-season Lowell.
Bard was the subject of roster cuts after the team acquired Berry and infielder John McDonald.
Red Sox manager John Farrell said it was a tough decision to let go of Bard.
"Not an easy one," Farrell said. "Given what he's been able to do in the past and obviously dealing with the struggles with consistency that are there, unfortunately he's in the position he's in. He won't be able to pitch with [Class A] Lowell until the waiver period expires, and if he's still in the organization, which we would hope that would be the case unless some team either claims or works out a trade for him, we haven't turned our back on him.
"And yet, we needed a roster spot and we're hopeful that we can get Daniel back on track to the pitcher that he was here at the big league level, which was a dominant one."
Bard will now be placed on outright waivers, where he is likely to be claimed by a team looking to capitalize on a struggling pitcher in dire need of a change of scenery. The Cubs, led by ex-Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein, may be one of the teams who could be interested in acquiring the right-hander. If Bard clears waivers, he will return to the Red Sox organization but will remain off the 40-man roster.
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