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American League

Former Red Sox Set-Up Man Daniel Bard Announces Retirement

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Several outlets reported on Thursday that former Boston Red Sox set-up man Daniel Bard had officially announced his retirement.

Bard, 32, last pitched in the majors in April 2013 for Boston, making two appearances that season.

In a five-year career with the Red Sox which started in 2009, Bard was 10-19 in 211 games (10 starts, all in 2012) with a 3.67 ERA.

Bard’s fall from grace is one of the sadder that baseball has seen in recent memory. After a solid 2009 rookie season, Bard was one of the best relievers in baseball from 2010-11, recording a 2.62 ERA in 143 relief outings with 66 holds.

The Red Sox planned to make Bard a starting pitcher in 2012, which turned out to be a huge mistake. In 10 starts, he recorded a 5.30 ERA and 1.62 WHIP. After an early June start where Bard walked six batters while recording only five outs, Boston sent him to the minors for nearly three months. In six relief outings to end the season, Bard allowed nine earned runs in 4 1/3 innings for an ERA of 18.69.

Boston released Bard on September 1, 2013 after his control in the minors had begun to implode (27 walks in 15 1/3 innings). He was signed by the Texas Rangers in January 2014; and in four single-A relief outings, hit seven batters, walked nine, and allowed 13 earned runs while recording two outs for an ERA of 175.00.

Bard didn’t pitch in the minors in 2015. In 2016, he signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates. In eight relief outings in the minors, he walked 13 batters in three innings with an ERA of 24.00 before being released in May.

Since being released by the Pirates, Bard signed Minor League deals with the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Mets but still couldn’t get back on track, walking 24 batters in 9 1/3 innings spanning 11 relief outings.

To summarize, Bard hit 16 batters, walked 73, posted a 3.32 WHIP, and 14.61 ERA in 39 Minor League relief outings (28 1/3 innings) since 2013.

Truly a shame that Bard’s career imploded so fast and the way it did. Multiple comeback attempts but just couldn’t regain his command. Rick Ankiel 101 type of stuff.

The Red Sox never should have made Bard a starter, though it’s worth pointing out that his problems actually began before that. One year prior, during Boston’s infamous September 2011 collapse, Bard went 0-4 with a 10.64 ERA in 11 innings spanning 11 games. He also walked nine, which surpassed his total of eight for the previous three months. Boston went 7-20 that September, becoming the first team in Major League history to blow a nine-game playoff lead entering the final month; and Bard was arguably the biggest reason why.

Failure like that can absolutely crush a guy’s confidence. Bard entered the month with a 2.03 ERA, and finished it to the tune of 3.33. He chose the worst time to choke, to lose his usual dominant “stuff”, and as a result, the Red Sox missed the playoffs.

Who knows what Bard’s career may have been like had he not struggled so much in that fateful September. Or got thrown into a starting role the very next year. And would the Red Sox tried to have transitioned him if he didn’t struggle so much in September?

Nonetheless, a sad fall from the spotlight for the once promising Bard. Hopefully he can find success elsewhere in whatever pursuit he chooses.

American League

Indians Activate Francisco Lindor, DFA Hanley Ramirez

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The Cleveland Indians have activated star shortstop Francisco Lindor from the injured list on Saturday.

In a corresponding move, the Indians have designated veteran Hanley Ramirez for assignment to create the necessary roster spot for the return of Lindor.

Ramirez, 35, appeared in 16 games this season for Cleveland, posting a slash line of .184/.298/.327 with two home runs.

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American League

Red Sox Place Nathan Eovaldi On 10-Day IL

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The Boston Red Sox have placed starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi on the 10-day injured list due to a loose body in his elbow, according to MassLive.com’s Crhsi Cotillo.

In a corresponding move, left hander Bobby Poyner will take Eovaldi’s spot on the roster and the move is retroactive to April 18th.

The struggling Red Sox will have to move forward without Eovaldi, who missed around 2 months last season following arthroscopic surgery to remove a loose body, for the time being.

Eovaldi has started 4 games for Boston this season, going 0-0 and posting a 6.00 ERA in that span.

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American League

Red Sox Call Up Top Prospect Chavis

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Top Red Sox prospect Michael Chavis was recalled for the first time on Friday.

With two infielders being placed on the DL and desperate for any kind of spark they can get, the Boston Red Sox called up their top prospect Michael Chavis (MLB no. 75) from Triple-A Pawtucket on Friday.

Dustin Pedroia and Eduardo Nunez were both placed on the disabled list this week with knee and back injuries, respectively. And with super utility man Brock Holt out as well with an eye injury, Boston’s infield has become quite depleted in a hurry. Infielder Tzu-Wei Lin was recalled as well as the stumbling Red Sox open up a three game set in Tampa with a Good Friday matchup.

Boston hasn’t yet announced if Chavis will be in the lineup tonight, but the team is evidently hoping that the presence of the 23-year-old can provide some kind of a spark. Boston has struggled considerably so far in the young season and is coming off consecutive embarrassing losses to arch-rival New York. At 6-13, the defending World Series champs are dead last in the AL East.

Chavis, on the other hand, has risen through Boston’s minor league system quickly despite a setback last season. A PED suspension cost him half of 2018 after he was busted for Turinabol, an anabolic-androgenic steroid. He denied knowingly taking any banned substance but played well enough after his return to be promoted from Double-A to Triple-A.

Can Chavis provide a boost for the struggling Sox and help them shake off their World Series hangover?

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