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Boston Red Sox: Daisuke Matsuzaka Should Take Daniel Bard's Next Start

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 20:  Daisuke Matsuzaka #18 of the Boston Red Sox looks on during a MLB interleague baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies on May 20, 2012 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images
Christopher BenvieCorrespondent IIJune 4, 2012

Daniel Bard pitched horribly against the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Red Sox can finally acknowledge the fact that Bard is not a major league starter. His style, delivery and approach are all perfectly suited for the bullpen, specifically in a closing role.

Right now, he is reeling from poor performance after poor performance, capped off with his 1.2-inning, one-hit, six-walk, five-earned-run effort on Sunday. Bard needs to get his mind right. That obviously won't happen pitching out of the rotation.

Daisuke Matsuzaka has been pitching well in his five rehab starts for Triple-A Pawtucket. He owns a 3.33 ERA, which is not quite indicative of the work he's done. What is more impressive is his 0.889 WHIP, which is down from his career average of 1.397.

He has struck out 18 batters in his 27 innings of work; that equates to a 6.0 K/9 ratio, which is on par with his career 6.3 K/9.

Daisuke is scheduled to start Tuesday night for the Paw Sox. If indeed the Red Sox are looking at bringing Matsuzaka up to pitch in place for Bard, that would likely have to happen on Saturday, Bard's next scheduled start.

Unless, of course, the team has Alfredo Aceves help out with a spot start to allow Matsuzaka to pitch on Sunday, after his normal rest period.

It is rather unfortunate for Bard. The leash has to be short for the pitchers this season after the abysmal 2011 collapse. The Boston Red Sox cannot afford to have any faltering pitchers, even if it means cutting the Bard experiment short.

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