Injuries & Moves: Bard comes off IL

September 19th, 2023


Sept. 18: RHP Daniel Bard activated; LHP Evan Justice optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque  
The Rockies went into the season with Bard penciled in as closer, but two stints on the injured list and issues with his delivery scuttled that plan. But Bard said he corrected some issues during the past 15 days.

Next year is the back end of Bard’s two-year, $19 million contract. Unless the Rockies sign or trade for a closer, Bard will have a chance to earn back his role and settle the ninth inning. Justin Lawrence, who the Rockies believe has a bright future, had a roller-coaster experience in the role for much of the year. Tyler Kinley is currently the preferred choice, but he profiles as a setup man.

Can Bard, whose latest IL stint was because of right arm fatigue, rekindle the performance of 2022? He posted a 1.79 ERA and 34 saves in 57 appearances.

“We’ve talked over the last week about his desire to come back and finish this thing out and feel good about this stretch,” manager Bud Black said. “… For Daniel, it’s important because he’s got a lot of pride as a pitcher. And for us as an organization it’s important.”

Sept. 17: LHP (right oblique strain) placed on 15-day IL; RHP recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque
As anticipated, Freeland went on the injured list Sunday after leaving Saturday’s game with oblique pain three innings into his start in the nightcap of the doubleheader with the Giants. He finished the season at 6-14 with a 5.03 ERA in 29 starts over 155 2/3 innings.

“With Kyle headed to the injured list, it looks like Noah's gonna get a couple of starts,” Black said of Davis, who pitched two scoreless innings of relief Sunday. “He's coming off a really good start in Albuquerque his last outing -- seven innings, 100-plus pitches, nice outing. Today was a microcosm of what I think he can do.”

Davis has had three stints with the Rockies this season. After allowing just one earned run in his first two starts spanning 9 2/3 innings -- including five shutout frames in his season debut -- he went on the IL in late April with right elbow inflammation and a 6.17 ERA. He came back and made two appearances in June, allowing 14 earned runs in seven innings before going back to Triple-A.

“I’m coming back with a fresh start,” Davis said Sunday. “I decided to start utilizing the strengths a little bit more, a little bit more breaking ball-heavy. I reevaluated and experimented with some stuff down in Triple-A and feel like I had some successes and failures, but I feel like I've found a pretty good middle ground."


10-day and 15-day IL

LHP (right oblique strain)
Expected return: 2024
Freeland, who exited his Sept. 16 start against the Giants after three innings and 41 pitches with a mild right oblique strain, was placed on the 15-day IL on Sept. 17, effectively ending his 2023 season.

“It’s the right move to get me out and get healthy through the rest of the season, and go into the offseason healthy," Freeland said on Sept. 16. (Last updated: Sept. 17)

RHP Peter Lambert (right biceps tendinitis)
Expected return: 2024
Lambert threw 87 1/3 innings for the Rockies and another 21 2/3 at Triple-A Albuquerque this season, his first healthy year since Tommy John surgery in 2020. Performance declined in his last two starts and Lambert’s arm did not bounce back as well after his last one, but the real priority is his health. Lambert is expected to be a key part of next season’s rotation. (Last updated: Sept. 16)

60-day IL

RHP (Tommy John surgery)
Expected return: Mid-2024
Márquez and the team reached a two-year contract extension on Sept. 8 that guarantees him $20 million and offers an additional $11 million in incentives and escalators in 2025. He also began playing catch -- the next step in a rehab from an operation performed on May 12 by Dr. Thomas J. Noonan, the club's medical director. Márquez, 28, made four starts this season and went 2-2 with a 4.95 ERA. (Last updated: Sept. 11)

LHP (lower back inflammation)
Expected return: 2024
Gomber hadn't pitched since departing his Aug. 28 start in the third inning and would have needed seven to 10 days of rest plus a Minor League rehab assignment before being able to return, so the Rockies opted to place him on the 60-day IL on Sept. 8 to open a 40-man roster spot for No. 24 prospect Victor Vodnik. (Last updated: Sept. 8)

LHP (left elbow)
Expected return
: Out for the season
A return this season is not in the cards for Gilbreath, who underwent surgery in early March, but he is playing catch and throwing out to 90 feet as he continues to meet rehab benchmarks. (Last updated: July 29)

RHP (right elbow sprain)
Expected return: 2024
Senzatela resumed throwing during the final road trip before the All-Star break, but a July 8 bullpen session went poorly. On July 14, manager Bud Black announced that Senzatela will have Tommy John surgery. (Last updated: July 14)