St. Louis Cardinals: Daniel Bard’s Career is Being Revived
The St. Louis Cardinals have always seemed to have a knack for reviving careers. Their latest project comes in the form of reliever Daniel Bard.
The St. Louis Cardinals are giving Daniel Bard a chance to make a major league comeback. The former Boston Red Sox reliever began his major league career in 2009 but really broke out in 2010. He dominated with a 1.93 ERA in 73 appearances and 74.2 innings.
He followed that up with a 3.33 ERA in 2011 but saw decreases in his WHIP and BB/9. Bard was still considered one of the better set-up men in the American League but completely fell apart in 2012. He lost all control and posted a 6.22 ERA while averaging 6.5 walks across nine innings. He was then limited to only 17 games and managed to hit eight batters.
After being sent to Triple-A, Bard continued his catastrophic collapse. He posted a 8.16 ERA in 32 innings of reliever while averaging 8.2 walks per nine innings. He also added nine wild pitches and 10 batters hit by pitch.
The last time Bard saw major league action was in 2013 but pitched for the Cardinals’ High-A team in 2016. He struggled there too allowing 8 earned runs on three hits with 13 walks in three innings. Bard also hit five batters and threw six wild pitches.
He now enters the 2017 spring training with a new delivery which could revitalize his career. His fastball is now hitting 96-mph while Bard is also featuring an 86-mph changeup. Peter Gammons was kind enough to produce a video of Bard throwing.
When Bard was at the top of his game his fastball averaged a velocity of about 97 mph. When he collapsed, it averaged around 93 mph. His changeup sat at about 90 mph when he was at his best and then went to 88 in 2012. Bard did not throw a changeup in 2013. He used to also feature a slider which was his second most used pitch, but it isn’t shown in the video.
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If the St. Louis Cardinals can somehow help Bard revitalize his career at age 31, it would be a great story. It could also be great for the team since there can never be too much pitching depth. With the questions surrounding Seung-hwan Oh‘s future as well as the dependability on guys like Marco Gonzalez, Luke Weaver, or Matt Bowman, Bard could be a welcomed veteran sight. Granted, he needs to find his control first.