Red Sox notes: Sox hope Daniel Bard will pitch in games this year; Franklin Morales, Alex Wilson near rehab assignments

July 26, 2013 - 2:56 pm

BALTIMORE -- It has now been more than three months since Daniel Bard pitched in the majors, more than two months since the right-hander pitched in a minor league game and nearly two months since he suffered the abdominal strain at the start of June that led to his prolonged stay on the disabled list. Though now far removed from the big leagues following a dreadful stretch in which he walked 13 batters in 3 2/3 innings in Double-A, the 28-year-old is not out of mind. Red Sox manager John Farrell said he tried to contact Bard on Thursday, checking in on how the right-hander is doing while rehabbing in Fort Myers. Bard, said Farrell, is throwing off a bullpen mound, though he hasn't gotten in games. While Farrell said he was unaware of any timetable for Bard to pitch in minor league contests, he said that the team very much wants him to return to do so before the end of the year. "I would hope so," Farrell said of Bard getting in games. "I would hope even for his own mindset of once this year ends, at least having some recent activity to evaluate on his own behalf." OTHER RED SOX NOTES A couple of candidates for the Red Sox bullpen are getting closer to a return to games. Right-hander Alex Wilson and left-hander Franklin Morales will both commence minor league rehab assignments in the coming days. Wilson, who has a 4.88 ERA, 7.2 strikeouts per nine innings and 4.6 walks per nine, has been on the DL since July 9 with a right thumb sprain. He will start a rehab assignment in Triple-A Pawtucket on Tuesday. That will come one day after left-hander Franklin Morales commences his own minor league rehab assignment, throwing one inning for Pawtucket on Monday. Morales has been sidelined since June 25 with a left pectoral strain, an injury similar to the one that rendered him unable to pitch for most of the first two months of the season (he developed the pectoral strain after he'd been placed on the DL due to a lower back strain). Morales has a 7.30 ERA, 11 strikeouts and nine walks in 12 1/3 innings this year.  

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