9/1/2013 7:29 P.M. ET
Bard designated for assignment
By Ian Browne / MLB.com
BOSTON -- In a roster move that would have been considered unfathomable a couple of years ago, the Red Sox designated former ace setup man Daniel Bard for assignment on Sunday, possibly ending the right-hander's association with the team that drafted him in 2006.
Upon being promoted to the Major Leagues in May of 2009, Bard quickly became a key bullpen member in Boston under manager Terry Francona.
In '10 and '11, he was an elite setup man for Jonathan Papelbon.
Bard first started to struggle in the final month of '11, when the Red Sox had their historic September collapse. But things truly went downhill last season, when in conjunction with the club, he decided to try his hand at starting pitching. That experiment failed to the point where Bard was back in the Minors by June of last season, and he had spent the bulk of his time there until Sunday's roster move.
If Bard is unclaimed by another team over the next 48 hours, he could remain property of the Red Sox, but he would no longer be part of the 40-man roster.
"If he's still in the organization, which we would hope that would be the case, unless some team either claims or works out a trade for him, we haven't turned our back on him and yet we needed a roster spot and we're hopeful we can get Daniel back on track to the pitcher that he was here at the big league level -- which was a dominant one," said Red Sox manager John Farrell.
When Bard first came to the Major Leagues, Farrell was his pitching coach until leaving to become the manager of the Blue Jays in '11.
"And the weapon that he emerged as, and the way [former Sox manager Terry Francona] had the flexibility to use him in that seventh or eighth inning, in many ways he had the tougher inning more so than the closer many, many nights," Farrell said. "To have that kind of power and that kind of ease in which he threw, and the breaking ball he had in addition to the 98 to 101 [mph] or whatever it was, yeah, for two years, he was as good as there was in the game."
Farrell was reunited with Bard this spring. In fact, Bard was one of the final roster cuts of Spring Training.
"Well there was a combination of delivery issues that were being ironed out and certainly confidence issues," Farrell said. "That's where the question is which comes first? We felt like performance was going to lead to confidence.
"But I thought in Spring Training, there were some outings that were not far off to where he was previous, whether it was a year or two prior, and felt like as he was building a little momentum in Spring Training, felt like there was still one step yet left to make with him in terms of just the power and the consistency to it. And it looked like he was on his way. Unfortunately it didn't happen."
Victorino, Ellsbury exit early with nagging injuries
BOSTON -- After grounding out to end the sixth inning on Sunday, Shane Victorino took a few steps out of the batter's box and slammed his helmet to the ground in frustration.
Boston's fiery outfielder is tired of the nagging injuries that have dogged him all season, and in this 7-6 win over the White Sox, he sustained a left hip contusion.
At that point, Victorino exited the game and was replaced by Jonny Gomes.
The Red Sox hope Victorino will be able to start Monday's game against the Tigers.
"When he slid into first base [in the fourth], he re-aggravated it," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "He's got a contusion he's dealing with and it begins to affect some of the other areas that he's been managing for a while. We fully expect him to be on the field tomorrow but when he aggravates it, it begins to kind of shut some things down on him and he doesn't feel the explosiveness."
In the top of the ninth, Jacoby Ellsbury also exited, thanks to a nagging injury in his left thumb.
"Jacoby, there were a couple of at-bats where he got jammed and that bat is kind of banging on that bone inside the thumb," Farrell said. "We're hopeful and expect him to be on the field as well tomorrow. We'll check them both obviously in the morning."
Speedster Berry among Red Sox's callups
BOSTON -- With rosters expanded on Sunday, the Red Sox made their first wave of moves, highlighted by a speedster who could influence games in the late innings.
Quintin Berry, who was acquired from the Royals on Tuesday before reporting to Triple-A Pawtucket, will be in Boston for the rest of the season.
"I know what they want and what they're looking for and I'm ready to do it," said Berry. "I haven't been completely told, but I got a good understanding that I'll be coming off the bench pinch-running for guys late in the game, steal bases. That's what I'm going to do."
In Red Sox history, no player was more famous in that role than Dave Roberts, who stole the biggest base in team history in Game 4 of the 2004 American League Championship Series.
"I've learned a lot when it comes to basestealing," said Berry. I'm not just out there running like I was when I was young. I have an idea what pitchers are trying to do and what their coaches are trying to do and what I'm capable of doing allowed me to have better percentages."
The 28-year-old Berry played 94 games for the Tigers last season, stealing 21 bases.
"I just think that this was a good move on Boston's part," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "I'm sure that they brought him up there for the sole reason that they saw his numbers last year on stolen bases. It's a great situation for him to get a little more time. Certainly he filled that bill for us, and sporadically last year he got us going.
"Now for whatever reason, I don't know why this year was so bad. He had a bad year at [Triple-A] Toledo and [Triple-A] Omaha. I don't know if that was lingering disappointment or what, but he did a heckuva job for us. Had he been right-handed and able to play third base and first base and the outfield, he'd have been on our team. That was a little hard for him to understand."
"Well we set out to find that type of player and Quintin is someone who has had a long track record in the Minor Leagues as a successful basestealer and even for the opportunity at the big league level, the success rate is probably as good as it gets, I think it's 21 stolen bases, zero caught, and he fills a specific need in that role for us," said Red Sox manager John Farrell.
Utility infielder John McDonald, acquired from the Phillies on Saturday night, was expected to arrive by the start of Sunday's game, and was added to the roster.
"Depth in the middle of the infield, seasoned veteran, an elite defender. Again, fills a specific need," Farrell said.
The Red Sox also added catcher Ryan Lavarnway and right-hander Rubby De La Rosa from Triple-A, both of whom have served multiple stints on the Major League roster this season. And infielder Brandon Synder was activated from the disabled list.
Boston will make more roster additions in the coming days, particularly when Triple-A Pawtucket's postseason run ends.
• First baseman Mike Napoli got a rest for Sunday's day game after a night game, and Mike Carp made the start at first base.
"Yes. Rest and keep everyone involved," said Farrell. "Right-handers on the mound, get left-handers off the bench and into today's game. We've got three more righties coming the next series. But as we mentioned the other day, we're just trying to keep everybody as fresh as possible and everyone involved."
• Top prospect Xander Bogaerts, who had a two-hit game on Saturday while starting at short, was back in the lineup on Sunday, playing third base.
"Yeah, and when he came to us, we were going to rotate him through the left side of the infield. And that's what today is," Farrell said.
• The Red Sox entered Sunday having allowed three runs or fewer in 11 straight games, the first time they've done that since 1988. The streak ended in the 7-6 win over the White Sox.