After stunning demotion, Bard set to rejoin bullpen

After stunning demotion, Bard set to rejoin bullpen

After stunning demotion, Bard set to rejoin bullpen
ANAHEIM -- Daniel Bard finally reappeared in the Red Sox's clubhouse on Wednesday and is expected to be activated for Thursday's series finale against the Angels.

This could represent a fresh start for Bard, who was stunningly optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket on June 5 after a failed transition to the rotation.

"It's good to be back," said Bard. "It took some patience, but I'm glad to finally get the call."

For the last couple of months, Bard reacclimated to life in the bullpen for Triple-A Pawtucket. Though the numbers were hardly spectacular (3-2, 7.03 ERA in 31 appearances), Bard feels that he can regain his groove at the Major League level.

"It just gave me a chance to work on some things without too much consequence in the results," said Bard. "I worked on accomplishing some really good things, and I'm headed in the right direction, and now I just need to get back in a competitive environment and focus on competing with the hitter."

Perhaps it is fitting that Bard rejoins the Red Sox in Anaheim, the same place he made his Major League debut on May 13, 2009.

"Kind of ironic," Bard said. "My wife pointed that out to me. It'll be pretty much like any other outing. I just have to go out and help the team."

Bard felt he turned a corner in recent weeks.

"I feel like I've thrown the ball well the last few weeks. There have been a couple of hiccups here and there, but it was more just trying to tweak something in the mechanics and carrying it into a game. Maybe it didn't go as well as we wanted, but it wasn't a confidence thing," Bard said. "It was working on some new things. The last few have been really good. I feel like I've simplified my delivery to the point that I can just go out there and not think about it and focus on getting the hitter out."