Rockies closer Daniel Bard will start the season on the injured list — though, not with a physical injury.
The 37-year-old is on the 15-day IL with anxiety, the team announced on Opening Day.
“It’s a hard thing to admit. But I’ve been through this before. I have enough going on outside the game to realize what’s important,” Bard said Thursday. “I’m extremely grateful to be in an organization that understands these things and Is accepting.”
Bard pitched for Team USA at the latest World Baseball Classic which wrapped up this month. During a game against Venezuela, a wild pitch from Bard broke Jose Altuve’s hand.
The injury will cause the Astros’ second baseman to miss at least two months of the MLB season.
This isn’t the first time the Bard has battled some mental health issues.
He stepped away from the Red Sox after two outing in 2013, despite being a top reliever.
Bard ended up being away from being away from baseball for seven seasons, resurfacing in 2020 in the Rockies’ bullpen.
His manager seemed to notice something was off.
“I can’t speak for Daniel because I’m just observing from 3,000 miles away, but I think he might have gotten caught up in the moment,” Bud Black said. “He’s pitching for his country in front of a big crowd. He only had three or four outings with us this spring and Daniel’s got a lot of moving parts in his delivery.
“He was just out of whack.”
Jake Bird will take Bard’s spot on the depth chart while the veteran pitcher takes some time to get himself right.
“From my experience, knowing myself, I think just taking a step back, taking time to work through things, get it right, is the best approach,” Bard said.