Jurickson Profar made his Rockies debut in today’s 3-1 loss to the Padres, and as fate would have it, Profar’s first game with his new team happened to be against his former team. Playing with the Padres “was everything to me,” Profar told Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union-Tribune, and seemed to express some regret over opting out of his $7.5MM player option to stay with the Padres in 2023. “If I was a normal free agent, not opting out, it’s different. Opting out and free agency taking that long, I always wanted to stay….I didn’t want to (opt out), but I did,” Profar said.
The entry into free agency took a long time to resolve, as Profar didn’t reach an agreement with Colorado until March 19 on a one-year, $7.75MM deal. Rockies hitting coach Hensley Meulens was a key recruiter in the process, as Meulens has been a longtime mentor to Profar dating back to the earliest days of his baseball career in Curacao, and Meulens managed Profar as part of the Netherlands’ team in the World Baseball Classic. Profar is looking forward to now joining Meulens in the majors, and getting off a fresh start with his new organization.
More from the Mile High City, as the Rockies are 2-2 following their split of the season-opening series with the Padres…
- Manager Bud Black told media (including MLB.com) that Daniel Bard threw a bullpen on Saturday, and hit 96mph during the session. It’s a positive sign for the veteran reliever, who began the 2023 campaign on the 15-day injured list due to a return of the anxiety issues that put Bard’s career on hold for several seasons. There isn’t yet any timetable for Bard’s return, as naturally the Rockies will give him all the time he needs.
- The Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes placed Gavin Hollowell on the 10-day minor league IL today, and Danielle Allentuck of the Denver Gazette (Twitter link) reports that the right-hander is dealing with forearm tightness. While the severity of the injury isn’t yet known, any sort of forearm issue is naturally troubling for a pitcher, and it adds to a tough week of news for Hollowell — Allentuck notes that he just missed out on a spot in Colorado’s Opening Day bullpen. A sixth-round pick for the Rockies in the 2019 draft, Hollowell made his MLB debut last season, posting a 7.71 ERA in seven innings over six appearances. MLB Pipeline ranks Hollowell as the 24th-best prospect in the Rockies’ farm system, and feels the 6’7″ reliever’s strikeout potential gives him promise, though his control is a work in progress.