Colorado Rockies: Daniel Bard named finalist for NL Comeback Player of the Year Award

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - AUGUST 24: Relief pitcher Daniel Bard #52 of the Colorado Rockies pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the MLB game at Chase Field on August 24, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Rockies defeated the Diamondbacks 3-2. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - AUGUST 24: Relief pitcher Daniel Bard #52 of the Colorado Rockies pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the MLB game at Chase Field on August 24, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Rockies defeated the Diamondbacks 3-2. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Colorado Rockies reliever Daniel Bard was named a finalist for the National League Comeback Player of the Year Award on Wednesday.

The MLB Players’ Association announced the finalists for the Comeback Player of the Year award on Wednesday and among the National League’s three finalists, Colorado Rockies reliever Daniel Bard was among them.

Bard’s competition for the award are Atlanta Braves outfielder Adam Duvall and San Diego Padres outfielder Wil Myers. In the American League, the Cleveland Indians have two finalists (pitcher Carlos Carrasco (after his return from leukemia) and third baseman Jose Ramirez) and Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez.

Duvall, the 32-year-old former All-Star, spent much of the 2019 season in Triple-A after struggling in Spring Training. He only played in 41 games in the majors (0.6 bWAR) and played in 101 in Triple-A. In 2020, he played in 57 games with a bWAR of 0.6.

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Myers, 29, arguably had his worst full season in the majors in 2019 when, in 155 games, he hit .239/.321/.418 with 18 home runs, 53 RBI, an OPS+ of 96, and a bWAR of -0.4. In 2020, though, he had the best season of his career (albeit, abbreviated with pandemic). He hit .288/.353/.606 with an OPS+ of 159 and a bWAR of 1.6.

Bard, 35, hadn’t pitched in the major leagues since 2013 due to injuries and the “yips.” He was a mental skills coach/player mentor for the Arizona Diamondbacks for the past two seasons.

He decided that he wanted to make a comeback to the majors and the Rockies signed him on a minor league deal with an invite to spring training and he ended up becoming one of the Rockies’ most reliable relievers and the team’s closer in 2020.

You can read more about his journey, including the injuries, the “yips,” becoming a coach, deciding to make a comeback, and how he got with the Rockies here.

He appeared in 23 games, which is the most he had in the majors since 2011, and pitched to a 3.65 ERA (3.64 FIP) with six saves. He had a WHIP of 1.297, struck out nearly 10 batters per nine innings, and averaged 3.6 walks per nine innings.

Rox Pile’s Kevin Henry also made the case for Bard winning the award last month.

The Rockies history with the 8th overall draft pick. dark. Next

In all reality, the winner of the award will likely be Bard but Myers also has a shot at the award considering that he was a big part of his team making the playoffs for the first time in over a decade.

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