Daniel Bard rejoins Rockies after IL stint for anxiety

The Colorado Rockies have activated closer Daniel Bard after the right-hander started the season on the 15-day injured list because of anxiety.

Bard said last month that he was stepping away to "work through things," adding that he was grateful to the Rockies for being understanding and accepting of his situation.

He told reporters last week that he hoped his situation would help normalize the topic.

"I think it's just enough guys being willing to admit either they're going through something currently or they come out and say, 'Yeah, I went through this in the past and I grinded through it and I probably should have taken a little bit of time off,'" Bard said. "The more guys who do that, the more it will become normal, just like a guy who hurts his hamstring or elbow."

Bard, 37, was a member of Team USA at the World Baseball Classic, but control issues against Venezuela included an inside pitch to Jose Altuve that broke the hand of the Houston Astros second baseman.

"I want to use my story to just give hope for people to get through really hard things, especially in sports," Bard said before the Venezuela game. "But also people outside of sports and different areas, different walks of life. Different professions where they hit a roadblock and feel like they lost their ability to do something they're supposed to be good at."

The Rockies optioned right-hander Peter Lambert to Triple-A Albuquerque in a corresponding move. Lambert is 0-0 with a 11.12 ERA in two starts for the Colorado this season.

Bard was a standout reliever for the Boston Red Sox early in his career, posting a 1.93 ERA in 73 outings during his second major league season in 2010. But control issues surfaced, and after two outings in 2013, he stepped away from the game.

The Rockies gave Bard a look in spring training in 2020 and he made the roster, returning to his standout ways last season when he went 6-4 with a 1.79 ERA and 34 saves in 57 outings.

"I don't want to say for everybody it's going to be the perfect happy ending," Bard said last week. "I have been very fortunate. I didn't know that this part was going to happen and that I would get to play again and do this thing."

Reuters contributed to this report.