It’s harder to find a good starter than a good reliever.
That alone should be the guiding principle to why the Red Sox [team stats] should seize this moment and convert Daniel Bard into a starter. That precept probably will not be enough to sway the Red Sox, who at least have not yet closed the door on the idea. For now, they are saying that they will wait until the new manager and pitching coach are hired and can weigh in with their preferences.
When the coaching staff is assembled and meets with the front office, the topic is likely to be greeted with this long run-on question: “Without closer Jonathan Papelbon [stats], how can we afford to lose Bard from that bullpen — he’s the closer-in-waiting, isn’t he? And besides, isn’t Alfredo Aceves already undergoing the reliever-to-starter conversion?”
Curt Young, Bard’s latest pitching coach, sees no problems with the switch.
“I think Daniel has a great mental aptitude,” Young said. “What Daniel has is relatively uncommon — he’s a calm individual, he’s not overthrowing out there, he does a great job of staying within his mechanics. He’d definitely be a guy who could make the adjustment to starting. He’s got a great changeup, so with that fastball and slider, he does have a starter’s repertoire.”...
Herald: Don't 'pen in Bard just yet
The Globe and the Herald, the two media outlets that updated their Red Sox content this weekend, have both supported the conversion of Daniel Bard into a starter next season. I am not in complete agreement with the idea, but there were some valid points made.
It is harder to find a good starter over a good reliever, and molding Bard into a good starter can be very beneficial to the Red Sox. It will also cost you less in the short-run to convert Bard, rather that sign a big ticket free agent starter. The point made by Curt Young, where he stated that Bard's repertoire of a fastball, slider, and changeup fits that of a starter. His stuff is good and over-powering, which can give sort of a Strasburg aura in a starter role.
Can the Red Sox really afford to experiment with Bard as a starter and risk it becoming a failed project? Aside from a shaky end to last season, Bard is a proven set-up man and to a lesser extent, closer. The Red Sox were molding him to fit the closer position some day and he seems to be ready, if we can forget the last month of last season. It may be in the Red Sox best interest to pursue a proven starter in a slightly better starter market for that exact role and keep Bard where he has been and doing what he does well. Taking the chance with Bard as a starter and shopping in a terrible market for closers doesn't seem like a recipe for turning this team around. We won't know what will come of this situation until the Sox have a new manager and pitching coach, so don't hold your breath.
Related: Globe: Suggestion box opened on behalf of Red Sox
The rest of the links:
Herald: To-do list: Darn Sox