Talk about a comeback. Long-lost MLB reliever Daniel Bard may finally be turning the corner in his latest attempt to return to the highest level of the game. Per Nick Groke of The Athletic, via Twitter, Bard “seems to be pitching his way to opening day” after a nice appearance in the club’s Summer Camp.
By now, Bard’s tale is well-known. The former first-round pick was a high-grade reliever for the Red Sox. When the Boston organization elected to try him out as a starter, Bard developed a case of the yips that persisted throughout several prior comeback efforts. (MLBTR’s Steve Adams documented this all a bit more thoroughly in his post on Bard’s signing in Colorado.)
Bard last appeared in a big league game in April of 2013. He’s now 35 years of age. If he can pull off even a lone MLB appearance, this would rate as one of the least-likely career revivals we’ve ever seen.
To make that happen, Bard will have to show the Rox that he’s in good enough form to merit clearing a 40-man roster spot and a 30-man (initial) active roster place. Bard has left the club “very pleased” with his performance thus far, says Groke, though his three Spring Training appearances weren’t as successful. In 2 1/3 innings before the game went on ice, Bard had coughed up seven earned runs on five hits and three walks.