The Rockies announced Monday that left-hander Tim Collins has informed the club that he will opt out of the remainder of the 2020 season. He’d been in the team’s 60-man player pool but did not make the Opening Day, 30-man roster.
Colorado has also formally added nine players to its 60-man pool, per the announcement. Joining the group are right-handers Tommy Doyle, Karl Kauffmann and Wes Parsons; infielders Aaron Schunk, Michael Toglia, Ryan Vilade and Colton Welker; lefty Helcris Olivarez; and catcher Willie MacIver.
The Rockies’ announcement comes after two game — the Marlins/Orioles tilt in Miami and the Phillies/Yankees contest in Philadelphia — were postponed due to Covid-19 concerns. However, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets that Collins had already informed the team of his decision to opt out prior to today’s news. That said, with 11 players and a pair of coaches testing positive in the Marlins organization alone since Friday, it’s certainly possible that we’ll see another wave of players decide to step away from the season citing health and safety concerns.
Collins, 30, was a staple in the Royals’ bullpen from 2011-14, pitching to a 3.54 ERA with better than a strikeout per frames part of a relief corps that eventually served as the backbone for consecutive World Series appearances. Unfortunately for Collins, he was only a part of the 2014 World Series runner-up roster, as he underwent Tommy John surgery early in 2015. When Collins appeared on the cusp of returning in 2016, he suffered a second UCL tear that led to a second Tommy John surgery.
All told, Collins missed the 2015-17 seasons while recovering, but he returned to the mound in 2018 and made it back to the Majors with the Nationals. In two seasons since his return, he’s totaled 31 1/3 frames in the Majors and logged a 4.02 ERA with a 25-to-15 K/BB ratio. He’s handled righties better than lefties in his career to date, so Collins isn’t necessarily impacted by the three-batter minimum rule like some other southpaws might be.
The 2020 season could’ve been a proving grounds of sorts for Collins, who is still young enough to reestablish himself as a quality reliever. But he’ll instead opt to step aside amid the current health concerns and likely look for another minor league deal this winter.