09/16/08 10:09 PM ET
Bard has played his last for Padres
Team source says catcher won't be offered arbitration
By Corey Brock / MLB.com
Bard strained his right triceps on Monday, a relapse of the same injury that he suffered last month, also in Denver.
"It's weird and frustrating with the way the season has gone," Bard said before the Padres faced the Rockies on Tuesday at Coors Field.
In a season in which Bard has been hampered by injuries, this injury effectively ends his season with 11 games remaining, manager Bud Black said.
"He's more than likely out for the year," Black said.
The injury means Bard, acquired in 2006 from the Boston Red Sox with reliever Cla Meredith, has played his last game with the Padres.
A team source indicated Tuesday that the Padres won't offer him salary arbitration after the season, rendering him a free agent.
With rookie Nick Hundley figuring to get the majority of starts at catcher next season, the Padres will either fill their reserve catcher role internally with someone like Luke Carlin, who started Tuesday, or through free agency.
One option for a backup could be 39-year-old Brad Ausmus, who lives in Del Mar. Ausmus, who played for San Diego from 1993-96, has said this will be his last season in Houston and that he wants to play closer to home.
The Padres' catching situation is certainly a far cry from where the team was when it broke Spring Training when it had two veteran catchers -- Bard and Michael Barrett -- it felt comfortable with.
But Barrett missed 41 games earlier this season with a strained elbow ligament and has been out since July 4 with a fractured nose.
"It's a tough situation," Black said. "That's a position we thought we were well covered. It just goes to show you never know."
Bard suffered a strain of the right triceps taking batting practice at Coors Field on Aug. 8 and missed 13 games. He suffered a similar injury on Monday doing another hitting drill.
Bard, who missed 54 games earlier this season with a high ankle sprain, will now miss more games this season than he's played in (57). He finishes the season hitting .202 in 178 at-bats with one home run and 16 RBIs.
Bard hit .338 in 93 games with the Padres following the trade from Boston and .285 last season with five home runs and 51 RBIs.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.