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Rockies activate pitcher Daniel Bard from 15-day IL

rockies bard

DENVER — The Colorado Rockies activated pitcher Daniel Bard from the 15-day injured list ahead of the team’s series finale against the Pittsburgh Pirates after the star closer had been out since March 30 due to anxiety.

“It feels good to have Daniel back,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “The last two weeks have been really positive for Daniel. We’re hoping that he can help, and he will. He’s a big part of our bullpen.”

Bard threw one inning in his team’s loss Wednesday, giving up no hits or runs on nine pitches.

Last season, Bard ranked third among all National League pitchers with a career-high 34 saves. He earned the save in 91.9% of his appearances, the best mark in MLB in 2022 and the second-best percentage in a single season in Rockies franchise history.

Bard pitched for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic, but struggled with control, displayed most notably when he threw a pitch inside against Venezuela that broke the hand of Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve.

“It’s been a good few weeks and the support has been overwhelming from the team and everybody around me, family,” Bard said. “Still a work in progress, but I feel good.”

To make room for Bard, the Rockies optioned right-hander Peter Lambert to Triple-A Albuquerque.

Pierce Johnson served as Colorado’s closer in Bard’s absence, posting a 5.40 ERA and three saves in seven appearances.