Those games of catch were a big reason why Bard is with the Colorado Rockies now.
In 2019, he said that he had some players tell him that they thought that he still had the skills to pitch in the majors.
"“[When they told me that], I initially just completely laughed it off because [playing again] was so far from my mind…” said Bard. “A couple more guys said it and I did know that it felt really good, like the throwing felt different than it had for those five years when I was struggling.”"
He worked this offseason to build himself up and he “continually kind of surpassed” his own expectations while building himself up. He then said that got to the point where “‘I think I have to do this,” like it wasn’t an option anymore where he thought he *had* to return.
While he thought he had improved a lot, he was still only throwing bullpens and playing catch, not facing live pitching.
"“I knew that I could throw a baseball in the mid-90s again…but what I hadn’t done, I hadn’t faced hitters, I hadn’t faced major league hitters, I hadn’t thrown in front of a lot of eyes that mattered, I hadn’t thrown in front of fans, or anything like that,” said Bard. “…I couldn’t get on the mound, I couldn’t throw on a mound and throw strikes for five years consistently and now, I can…”"
Then in February, he decided to quit his job with the Diamondbacks and try to make the leap back to the Majors.
"“I didn’t want to feel it out, like with the Diamondbacks–I didn’t want to put them in an awkward position where I had one foot in [and] one foot out–‘Hey, can I throw some bullpens and kind of keep my job and see how it goes?” said Bard. “That’s just an awkward position to put them in. They deserve better than that so I made the decision to quit that job and, basically, inform them that I’m quitting and the reason I’m quitting is because I want to pitch again.”"