Monday, November 7, 2011

Season in Review: Daniel Bard


Preseason Predictions

Actual Stats
2-9, 3.33 ERA, 2.96 FIP, 70 G, 9.12 K/9, 3.08 K/BB

Daniel Bard was, once again, the workhorse of the Boston bullpen, leading the team with his 70 appearances. The season did not start out well for the set-up man, as he allowed five runs in his first 2.2 innings. However, after that, he settled down and was mostly reliable at the back end of the bullpen. His strike outs dipped slightly from the past two years, but his walk rate of 2.96 per nine innings was a career low, leading to a career high K/BB ratio. Improved control was also indicated by his home run rate, which was a career-low 0.62 HR/9. He was probably a little lucky getting those numbers, as opponents carried a .224 BABIP. However, this is the second year in a row he had a BABIP that low, so maybe he isn't as lucky as one may think. Bard switched up his tendencies a bit, relying less on his fastball and more on his slider and changeup. He was most dominant in June and July, when he didn't allow a single run and had a LOB% of 100%. He did, however, implode in the final month, carrying an ERA of 10.64 in September. Another worrisome section of his stat line was his performance in high leverage situations. He allowed 15 earned runs (17 total) in those situations in just 22 innings, for a 6.14 ERA (Lackey territory).

Final Grade:
In the end, Bard had a good season, but one that had its ups and downs. He didn't leave people clamoring for him to become a closer next year, but that never ended up happening. He did show that he is a more than capable 8th guy, and I will give him a B+ for the season. 

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