DUNEDIN, Fla. -- As Daniel Bard prepared to make his second-to-last Florida start, he faces something of a conundrum.
In his last start, Bard threw only one changeup and after the game, manager Bobby Valentine wondered why he hadn't featured the pitch more as part of his repertoire.
Bard said that he hadn't thrown more changeups because he was focused on getting better results and throwing a pitch he wasn't yet fully comfortable with would negatively impact his results as he battles for a rotation spot.
"It's a hard balance,'' acknowledged Valentine. "That's why I say that spring training is silly for all that evaluation and results dictating things. The guys who should work on pitches need to work on pitches because they're not polished. And if they get you behind in counts, which is where you don't want to be or those pitches get hit, then you're judged poorly.
"It's a weird Catch-22."
Valentine was asked how Bard would approach the Blue Jays -- the same team he faced five days ago.
"Daniel's been advised to get his work in," explained Valentine, "and do what he has to do to feel good about himself when he comes out of the game. And all the pitchers have.''
BOSTON -- The coaching migration could begin soon.
Red Sox hitting coach Chili Davis is to be in San Diego on Wednesday, a baseball source told NBC Sports Boston. They have an open hitting coach position that Davis will interview for. Davis' reputation in the game remains excellent, despite some offensive drop-offs for key Sox players in 2017.
Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said all the Sox coaches under John Farrell have permission to seek jobs elsewhere.
"I’ve talked to all the coaching staff members," Dombrowski said last week. "They’re all signed for 2018. What I told them is, first of all, I think very highly of them. They’re good people. They’re good baseball people. I would recommend to our new manager any of them, it’s not a problem for me, but I do believe a new manager needs to have his own coaching staff in place within approval of us and making sure that there’s proper areas coached within the club.
"Would grant permission for any club to talk to our personnel. I know they’re signed, but I wouldn’t want to stand in their way of getting a job somewhere else if that opportunity came up. Some of them could come back, but again, I’m going to wait until we get a manager and I won’t stand in their way of interviewing elsewhere."
Davis could eventually land on the interview circuit for manager, as well.
The Patriots improve their record to 4-2 with a win over the Jets, but there are still a lot of concerning factors for New England. Mike Giardi and Dan Koppen talk about something the team isn't used to - close games.
Giardi also dives into whether there is a major problem with the locker room dynamic, and whether all the moves they made in the offseason were blown way out of proportion by the media and fans of the talent added, but didn't factor in the personalities they lost.
Koppen and Giardi also look at how the offensive line play has fallen off, despite the same personnel as last year. Finally, discussing the late scratch of Stephon Gilmore due to a concussion. Anything to read into the timing?