Red Sox

Former Red Sox reliever Daniel Bard attempting MLB comeback

Former Red Sox reliever Daniel Bard attempting MLB comeback

Daniel Bard hasn't pitched in the MLB since 2013.

But that isn't going to stop the former Boston Red Sox reliever from attempting an MLB comeback in 2020.

According to Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe, the 34-year-old Bard will try to return to the MLB in the near future. He last pitched in the minors during the 2017 season.

Bard was a first-round pick by the Red Sox in the 2006 MLB Draft and at one point, it appeared that he would be the heir apparent to Jonathan Papelbon as the team's closer.

In his first two seasons with the Red Sox (2009-2010), Bard was a terrific relief option for the squad. He made 122 appearances and logged a 2.61 ERA in 124 innings pitched with 139 strikeouts. And that continued for most of the 2011 season, as Bard set a Red Sox record at one point with 25 consecutive scoreless appearances.

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However, after that, Bard began to fall apart. It began in September of '11. During the final month of the season, he went 0-4 and had a ridiculous 10.64 ERA amid a Red Sox collapse that led to the departure of Terry Francona as Red Sox manager.

In 2012, Bobby Valentine attempted to convert Bard into a starting pitcher. The results were disastrous. Bard went 5-6 but had a 6.22 ERA and averaged 6.5 walks per nine innings as he struggled to command his pitches.

Following the 2012 season, Bard made just two appearances for the Red Sox in 2013. He spent most of his time with the Pawtucket Red Sox before being designated for assignment in September. After that, he bounced around the league and was seen mostly as a reclamation project. But he could never make any headway on his many minor-league stints.

Bard retired in 2017 and has been working for the Arizona Diamondbacks since then.

It will be interesting to see if any team takes a chance on Bard. After all, he was able to clock 102 on the radar gun at times during his career and had he not lost his command, he may have had a chance to re-emerge as an effective reliever.

But after being away from the majors for seven years and struggling in the minors, it's fair to wonder if Bard can truly figure things out and make a team consider signing him.

Chaim Bloom estimates when Chris Sale could return from Tommy John surgery

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File Photo

Chaim Bloom estimates when Chris Sale could return from Tommy John surgery

Chris Sale turned 31 on Monday. He also had Tommy John surgery on his throwing elbow on that same day. The procedure will sideline him for at least the rest of the 2020 season and beyond. 

But when exactly can we expect Sale back? Boston Red Sox chief of baseball operations, Chaim Bloom, wouldn't confirm to an exact date, but he did provide some insight into how long Sale might be sidelined.

"We don't know exactly," Bloom said, per Christopher Smith of MassLive.com. "Typically you see around that 14-15 month range."

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Okay, so maybe that's not the most specific answer, but it at least gives us a ballpark idea of when Sale could return.

A 14-15 month recovery period would have Sale return sometime between early June and early July in 2021, if his recovery goes well. Of course, there are so many variables to take into account about how Sale may be progressing but also about how the Sox may be faring. If they aren't doing well, the team could take an extremely cautious approach with Sale in hopes of having him fully healthy for the 2022 season.

But Bloom's estimate at least gives Sox fans an initial target for Sale's potential return. The target date will certainly be fluid especially considering that some pitchers take 18 months to return from the surgery.

But no matter what, Sale won't be suiting up for the Red Sox until mid-2021 at the earliest. And that's bad news for the squad considering their lack of starting pitching depth.

Red Sox ace Chris Sale officially undergoes Tommy John surgery

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Red Sox ace Chris Sale officially undergoes Tommy John surgery

Chris Sale's long road to recovery from a pesky elbow injury began on Monday.

The Boston Red Sox officially announced that Sale underwent Tommy John surgery on Monday to reconstruct the UCL in his throwing arm. Noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache performed the surgery.

The Red Sox and Sale decided that he would need to have the surgery about a week and a half ago. The coronavirus crisis made it a bit uncertain as to when Sale would be able to have the procedure done, but now, it is in the books.

Sale won't pitch at all in 2020 and it's likely that he will miss time in 2021 as well. In fact, he could miss that whole season given that a typical recovery from Tommy John surgery takes about 18 months.

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Either way, the Red Sox will be without Sale long-term and as a result, their starting rotation looks very thin. Eduardo Rodgriguez will slot in as the team's ace while Nathan Eovaldi and Martin Perez are the Nos. 2 and 3 starters respectively.

The other two rotation spots are up for grabs but before the league was shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was assumed that Ryan Weber had the inside track for the fourth starter position. The fifth starter role was much less settled and the team may have used an opener strategy given their lack of starting pitching depth.

Without Sale, the Red Sox will likely have to rely a lot on their offense to carry them to victory moving forward. But we won't get a chance to see how they look until the MLB returns. And at this point in time, it's unclear when that may be.