Cuzitt's report on the minor league day included this column by Paul Kenyon (ProJo
) about the changes in mechanics and mindset that Bard undertook to become a starter:
Bard has spoken about how he might have tried to change too many parts of his motion because he was moving from the bullpen into a starting role.
“The intentions were good from everybody, including every coach I talked to and myself,” he said. “We came into spring training and said, ‘How do we need to change everything I do to fit the starting role?’ I don’t think we needed to change as much as we thought we did. We tweaked a lot of things mechanically trying to simplify me, trying to get the best windup that I’m comfortable with. We probably did a little too much. You can’t pitch and think at the same time. I think that’s the key to it.”
Is Bard's delivery simpler than in 2011? Pitchfx can only give us release points, which are at best partial reflections of arm slot, which is only one element of mechanics. What do you observe?
I see a pitcher who wanders between two different slots, delivering the slider, changeup, and some fastballs from a 3/4 slot. Most fastballs are coming from a more sidearm angle, closer to 10 o'clock. The first arm slot is fairly close to Papelbon's; the second slot looks more like Masterson's. Slinging the fastball makes it harder to control for Bard. If Bard could bury the 2-seamer at the batter's knees, it would be a great pitch, but Wild Bard can't get the fastball down.
(hat tip to deconstruction for catching the delivery point of the changeup)