The Insane Journey of Daniel Bard

If you have not heard by now, Daniel Bard is back in Major League Baseball with the Colorado Rockies. And yes, it is the same Daniel Bard that pitched for the Boston Red Sox way back when.

The last time Bard was seen in the majors was with Boston. Bard had started his career with the Sox as a reliever (and was tabbed as Jonathan Papelbon’s replacement), but switched over to a starter right before the 2012 season. Suffice to say, that experiment was a little rocky. And by a little I mean VERY.

During that disastrous 2012 season, Bard seemed to be alright entering the rotation. He wasn’t his dominant self like he was in the bullpen, but in four April starts he posted a 3.72 ERA.

The next two months however, Bard fell apart. The tall right-hander completely lost the strike zone, walking 21 guys -as well as hitting 5- in only 34 innings of work. Still, the peak meltdown happened on June 3 in Toronto.

In that start against the Blue Jays, Bard failed to make it out of the second inning. He went 1 and 2/3 innings, walking 6 batters, and hitting 2 batters all while giving up 5 runs.

In all honesty, it was the worst start I’ve personally witnessed as a baseball fan. You could tell Bard was losing his mind on the mound.

After that game, Bard was demoted to triple-A where he was going to attempt to go back to the hard throwing set up man everyone was accustomed to. Sadly, it didn’t work out.

Bard was still walking a ton of batters and could hardly get anyone out. His confidence was in the gutter and you could tell he was not the same guy. He wasn’t the 11.5 K/9 player people saw in 2009, or the 1.93 ERA reliever fans saw in 2011. With that being the case, Boston eventually designated him for assignment on Sept. 1, 2013.

Still, Bard continued to claw and fight his way to try and make it back to the bigs.

After the Sox parted ways with their former stud, Bard had minor league stints with the following teams: the Chicago Cubs (2x),Texas Rangers, Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals and New York Mets.

That minor league journey spanned from 2013 to 2017, ending after Bard announced his retirement as a member of the Mets. From there, Bard was brought on by the Arizona Diamondbacks as a mental skills coach and personal mentor.

During that time in Arizona, Bard rediscovered his confidence and talent. This prompted him to start setting up try-outs with teams, eventually helping him get his chance with the Rockies: a chance he has taken full advantage of.

– Jarrod Ribaudo (@Jribs53)

Featured image courtesy of Twitter / @Pelotaenorbita

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