(PAWTUCKET, R.I.) -- If and when Daniel Bard is called back up to Boston, it will be as a reliever. After spending the previous three seasons as the Red Sox primary eighth-inning setup man, Bard was moved into the starting rotation to start the 2012 season.
The 26-year-old struggled, putting up a 5-6 record with a 5.24 ERA in 10 starts and one relief appearance. On June 5 the Red Sox optioned him to Triple-A Pawtucket.
Since then, both Bard and Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington decided it was best for Bard to return to the bullpen.
“The feeling of everyone I’ve talked to, and the way I feel myself, is that I can be a good starter,” Bard said. “I know I can be a good starter. But I know I’m already a great reliever. Maybe that’s what I was meant to do, so just try and embrace it from here on out.”
Bard was drafted out of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a starter. He continued in that role during the first year of his minor league career with the Red Sox in 2007, but after a season of struggling to find the strike zone, he was made a reliever. He thrived in that role from that point on.
There is currently no timetable for when Bard will return to Boston. He has allowed seven earned runs in 8 1/3 innings since joining Pawtucket.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio