Daniel Bard is on the comeback trail.
When we last saw Bard in Major League Baseball, it was 2013 and the wiry right-hander was struggling with his control with the Boston Red Sox. Bard then threw 2/3 of an inning over four appearances in the Texas Rangers’ system in 2014 — and posted a 175.50 ERA.
Bard’s issues are well-documented at this point. After enjoying time as one of baseball’s best relievers, Bard simply fell off a cliff. His conversion to starting pitcher was an utter disaster and his ability to throw strikes simply disappeared.
Bard believes his issues largely stemmed from a shoulder injury. Bard underwent thoracic outlet syndrome surgery on his right throwing shoulder last January, according to The Boston Globe, and he’s hoping the procedure can turn around his career.
“I feel now as good as I’ve felt since before 2012, maybe before 2011,” Bard told the Globe. “I’m throwing as well as I have since then. I haven’t seen a radar gun, so I don’t know if I’m back to what I was, but just the way it’s coming out of my hand, I’m really encouraged by what I feel.”
The whole ordeal — the rise and fall coupled with the injury issues — obviously hasn’t been easy for Bard.
“I can’t lie,” he told the Globe. “It wasn’t pleasant to go through. The one thing that I could do really well was taken away from me. There were some tough times, tough moments. You’re out there and you think you’re throwing the ball well but it’s not doing what you want it to do. It’s so frustrating.”
Bard also admits to losing “faith in my ability to throw strikes.”
However, Bard hopes a physical rejuvenation will give him the fresh start he so desperately needs. It’s unclear where or even if he’ll land, but he sounds open to whatever.
“I’ve often said, it only takes one team,” Bard told the Globe. “I can’t worry about that part of it right now. The important thing is that I’m throwing again. I’m excited about the way I’m throwing again.”
Thumbnail photo via John Rieger/USA TODAY Sports Images