The Angels selected Luke Bard from the Twins with the 17th overall pick in the Rule 5 Draft this past winter, where teams can select players who have amassed six or more years in the minor leagues for a fee of $100,000. The caveat, though, is that the player selected must spend his entire rookie season on the 25-man roster. He cannot be optioned to the minor leagues.
Bard earned rave reviews for his elite fastball spin, as both David Laurila of FanGraphs and David Adler of MLB.com have documented. Ultimately, it was not enough to keep him on the everyday roster as the Angels designated him for assignment (DFA) last week.
Today the #Angels have returned their 2017 Rule 5 selection RHP Luke Bard back to the Minnesota Twins.— Angels PR (@LAAngelsPR) April 27, 2018
While the Angels’ DFA came last week, the Twins needed to make space to accept Bard, which is the reason for the slight delay.
The club’s decision to bid adieu to Bard comes as a slight surprise given that six of the seven earned runs given up came in one outing against the Boston Red Sox last week.
Bard’s floor is reasonable enough to be on the roster given his ability to pitch multiple innings in middle relief. In the opinion of this author, it is not unreasonable to believe that the organization prefers the upside of a higher-octane reliever such as Justin Anderson or the flexibility of shuttling bullpen arms back and forth between Salt Lake in the name of performance, given the club is eyeing a postseason push this season.
Bard has a 5.20 ERA and 7.46 FIP in eight games, tossing 11.2 innings with a 10.03 K/9 and a 3.86 BB/9.