Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Daniel Bard is undergoing an early-season setback with the Colorado Rockies.
Bard represented the United States during their run to the 2023 World Baseball Classic title game. However, Bard struggled mightily to contribute. The 37-year-old veteran recorded an astounding 43.20 ERA, allowing eight earned runs over the course of 1 2/3 innings of relief.
This was said to play part in Bard’s current battle with anxiety, which landed the right-hander on the 15-day injured list prior to Thursday night’s Opening Day matchup with the San Diego Padres.
“It’s a hard thing to admit,” Bard told reporters, according to Danielle Allentuck of The Denver Gazette. “But I’ve been through this before. I have enough going on outside the game to realize what’s important. … I’m extremely grateful to be in an organization that understands these things and is accepting.”
Bard has undergone a career revival since initially joining the Rockies back in 2020, which followed a seven-year hiatus from his last big league appearance as a member of the Red Sox in 2013.
In 2020, Bard won the National League Comeback Player of the Year award.
Then, he recorded the most impressive season of his eight-year career in 2022. Bard recorded 34 saves and pitched to a career-best 1.79 ERA with a 28.2% strikeout rate through 60 1/3 innings — serving as a crucial piece to Colorado’s bullpen.
“It was fun,” Bard said when reflecting on 2022 earlier this month, per MLB Network. “It was one of those things where I came off a rough year the year before and went into that offseason trying to make some changes.”