11:43AM: The Yankees have made their host of moves official, including Rizzo’s IL placement, Bard’s DFA, and Guzman’s selection to the active roster. In addition, third baseman Josh Donaldson was placed on the paternity list, right-hander Deivi Garcia was called up from Triple-A, and Miguel Andujar was called up as the 29th man for today’s doubleheader.
8:02AM: The Yankees have designated right-hander Luke Bard for assignment, as first indicated on the team’s transaction log at MLB.com. Presumably, his 40-man spot will go to first baseman Ronald Guzman, who was in the clubhouse yesterday and is set to be selected to the big league roster to fill the spot of the injured Anthony Rizzo. However, the Yankees have yet to formally announce the move, so it remains to be seen whether there are additional transactions on the horizon.
Bard, 31, was a waiver claim out of the Rays organization a month ago but has appeared in just one game with the Yankees (during which he tossed a shutout inning). He’s spent the rest of his stint with the organization in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he’s yielded four earned runs on nine hits and four walks with eight punchouts in eight innings of work.
Overall, Bard carries a 1.80 ERA in 15 big league frames and a 4.78 mark in 32 Triple-A innings. The 2022 season as marked Bard’s first game action since 2020, as he missed the entire 2021 campaign while rehabbing from April hip surgery — an injury that ultimately ended a four-year stint in the Angels organization.
Bard has now appeared in parts of four minor league seasons and between the Halos, Rays and Yankees, recording a 4.44 ERA in 81 innings. This year’s 94.1 mph average on his fastball is right in line with previous seasons, as is his top-of-the-charts spin rate on the pitch; Bard led the Majors in four-seam spin in 2018-19 and is in the 99th percentile this season. That trait alone obviously isn’t going to lead to instant success, but it’s been appealing enough to keep Bard on 40-man rosters for the bulk of the past several years.
At this point in the season, the Yankees won’t have any choices with Bard other than to place him on outright waivers or release waivers. Either way, he’ll be made available to the 29 other clubs. He’s been outrighted once in the past, when he cleared waivers last October while still on the mend from that hip procedure. As such, even if he goes unclaimed on waivers, he’d have the ability to reject an outright assignment to Scranton in favor of free agency.