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Rockies activate Daniel Bard, option Peter Lambert

Colorado’s closer started the season on the injured list with anxiety

The Colorado Rockies have regained their closer by activating Daniel Bard (anxiety) from the 15-day injured list and subsequently have optioned Peter Lambert back down to Triple-A Albuquerque prior to their game on Wednesday.

Bard started the season on the IL after returning from the World Baseball Classic with Team USA near the end of March. Bard had a rough stint in the WBC, allowing eight runs on five hits in 1 23 innings of work across three games. Uncharacteristically, Bard struggled with his command — walking four batters and also hitting José Altuve with a pitch that broke his thumb.

Rather than try to grit his teeth through it when he came back, Bard talked with the Rockies and the decision was made to place him on the injured list to start the season. Bard has been quite open about his battles with anxiety and felt it was necessary for him to take a step back and work through it and get comfortable or the season.

“Mental health stuff – it’s affected me a little bit on the field, a little bit off the field,” Bard said to Thomas Harding at the time of the move. “It’s not all the time. Most of the time, I’m great and feel pretty normal. It’s just something that came on a few weeks ago, mostly, that I noticed was starting to have an effect on my ability to do my job.

“It’s a hard thing to admit,” he continued, “but I’ve been through stuff before and I got enough going on outside of this game to realize what’s important. And these games are super important. But there’s also other things that are also really important.”

Bard made one rehab appearance with the Isotopes, tossing a scoreless inning and striking out three of the four batters he faced, with the lone hit coming from Fernando Tatís Jr. during his own rehab stint.

He now joins a bullpen that has worked quite a bit and, for the most part, has been solid. Bard is in the first year of the two-year extension he signed last season with the Rockies. In three seasons with the Rockies, Bard is sporting a 3.58 ERA with 60 saves, 176 strikeouts, and 71 walks.

Peter Lambert returns to Albuquerque after getting called up for Tuesday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Lambert has been increasing his workload after multiple injuries have kept him off the mound since his debut in 2019. The Rockies promoted him as a precautionary measure if they needed a fresh arm due to the extensive bullpen work the past few days and the rotations' inability to pitch deep into games.

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