TORONTO -- Daniel Bard will make his rotation debut on Tuesday night against the Blue Jays. The question is, how long will Bard be a starter?
With Andrew Bailey sidelined for a few months following right thumb surgery, there has been a public outcry for Bard to be the Red Sox's closer.
It is an odd dynamic for the righty, who is just trying to gain comfort in his new role as a starter.
All Bard can do is focus on pitching in the rotation as long as he's asked to do that. How would he feel if the team asked him to move to closer?
"Until that happens, I can't really answer it. I haven't even pitched this year yet. We're three games in," Bard said. "It's easy to say that we need [help in the bullpen]. Obviously our bullpen wants to throw better. They're going to throw better. To judge them off three games isn't really fair."
In the winter, Bard told the Red Sox that he'd like to either close or start. He's grateful the team has given him a chance to prove his worth in the rotation.
"It's not for me to decide. Right now, I'm a starter, and I'll try to be the best one I can be," Bard said.
Manager Bobby Valentine is sensitive to Bard's situation.
"We've talked and he gets it," Valentine said. "Poor guy has been thrown into a situation that no one should have to be thrown into really before his first Major League start of the season. Words aren't going to do anything more than his performance will, that's for sure."
And Valentine is very much looking forward to watching that performance.
"Well, considering he's probably been the guy who's been talked about the most the first three games and he hasn't thrown a pitch yet, I'm dying for him to throw a pitch," said Valentine.
Can Valentine commit to Bard in the rotation beyond the one start?
"Wow. Felix [Doubront]? Daniel? Tomorrow's his day. Let's not slight Felix today," Valentine said. "Today is his day."