HomeMLB RumorsDaniel Bard To Undergo Season-Ending Flexor Tendon Surgery

Daniel Bard To Undergo Season-Ending Flexor Tendon Surgery

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6:24pm: Bard told the Colorado beat that he’ll rehab from the surgery before deciding next year whether he wants to continue his playing career (X link via Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post).

5:05pm: Rockies right-hander Daniel Bard will require surgery on the flexor tendon in his throwing arm and will miss the rest of the season. Thomas Harding of MLB.com was among those to relay the news. Bard is already on the 15-day injured list after undergoing an arthroscopic knee procedure in February but he’ll now be destined for the 60-day IL whenever the Rockies need his roster spot for someone else.

It’s an incredibly unfortunate development for both the pitcher and the team. Bard, 39 in June, is in the second season of a two-year, $19MM extension he signed with the Rockies, a pact that looks increasingly regrettable. Bard saw his previous anxiety and control problems return last year as he walked 21.1% of batters faced and saw his earned run average balloon to 4.56. He’ll now be on the shelf for the entire second half of that deal.

Hindsight is 20/20, of course, but there were reasons that contract was eyebrow-raising even at the time. Bard pitched for the Red Sox from 2009 to 2013 and looked like a dominant reliever at times before a case of the yips sent him out into the wilderness. He walked 15.5% of batters faced in 2012 then only tossed one inning in the majors in 2013.

From 2014 to 2017, he settled for minor league deals with the Cardinals, Mets and Rangers but the control problems followed him to all those stops. Over that period, he logged 13 innings on the farm but walked a massive 44.7% of batters faced and posted 24.23 ERA.

He signed a minor league deal with the Rockies prior to 2020 and was able to mount an incredible comeback. He got back to the big leagues with Colorado and posted a 3.65 ERA over his 23 appearances, keeping his walk rate down to 9.4% while striking out 25.5% of opponents. His ERA ticked up to 5.21 in 2021 but he dropped it all the way to 1.79 the year after. In that 2022 season, he struck out 28.2% of batters faced, walked 10.2% of them and got grounders on 51.7% of balls in play. He also did that in high-leverage situations, racking up 34 saves for Colorado.

It was right around that year’s trade deadline that the Rockies signed Bard to the aforementioned extension. Given Bard’s volatile career and the fact he was a 37-year-old impending free agent on a non-competitive club, there was an argument for the Rockies to put him on the trading block and grab whatever young talent they could. Instead, they doubled down on their relationship with Bard by extending it for another two seasons. But as mentioned, his struggles returned last year and now 2024 will go down as a total loss. Once transferred to the 60-day IL, he’ll spend the rest of the year there and become a free agent again this coming winter.

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