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Rockies RHP Bard needs elbow surgery, will miss rest of season

Daniel Bard Rockies Daniel Bard - The Canadian Press

TORONTO (AP) — Colorado right-hander Daniel Bard needs surgery to repair the flexor tendon in his right elbow and will not pitch again this season, Rockies manager Bud Black said Friday.

Bard is in the final season of a $19 million, two-year deal. He has not pitched in 2024 after surgery in February to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.

“We were hoping for the bounce back,” Black said of Bard before the Rockies played the Blue Jays. “He was one of the top closers in ’22 and even ’21. He pitched really, really well. We looked forward to having Daniel be a big part of our bullpen but now it’s not going to happen.”

Black said Bard was bothered by elbow soreness last season, when he went 4-2 with a 4.56 ERA and one save in 50 games.

“He spent the offseason rehabbing, hoping where he is in his career that he could strengthen it, rest it, and maybe come back,” Black said. “The knee surgery, in a way, helped the process by giving him more time for the elbow, but the elbow just hasn’t responded.”

Also Friday, Black said left-hander Lucas Gilbreath threw 25 pitches in a simulated game at Colorado’s spring training complex in Arizona. Gilbreath is expected to pitch in an extended spring training game next week.

“He threw great, felt really good,” Black said. “Fastball up to 95 (mph), threw all his pitches.”

Bard had a career-high 34 saves for the Rockies in 2022. He missed time at the start of the 2023 season due to anxiety, which he said he experienced both on and off the field.

Bard was a first-round draft pick of Boston 2006 and made his big league debut for the Red Sox in 2009.

He signed as a free agent with the Rockies before the 2020 season after missing the previous six years while dealing with severe control issues. Those issues resurfaced during the 2023 World Baseball Classic, when Bard had a 43.20 ERA in three appearances for the U.S. He allowed eight runs, five hits and four walks in 1 2/3 innings.