Daniel Bard told WEEI's Rob Bradford that a lower back injury affected his drop in velocity last season.
"It had to have something to do with it, in my mind," Bard said. "The high inning workload early in the season and in spring training kind of took a toll...I just kind of pitched through it. But it was an issue between starts. I've had lower back stiffness throughout my whole career, this was just a little bit more." Coming off a disastrous 2012, Bard will be competing for a bullpen spot in spring training. He posted a career-low 6.22 ERA in 17 appearances (10 starts) last season.