7 years after being 1st-round pick, RHP finally called up to The Show

Former first-rounder Pint gets callup to Rockies two years after brief retirement

May 14th, 2023

DENVER -- Nearly seven years after he was selected fourth overall in the MLB Draft, Rockies relief pitcher ’s story of twists and turns has a new chapter.

Pint, 25, was called up from Triple-A Albuquerque for the first time on Sunday, as the club placed starter on the 15-day injured list with a concussion and a fractured skull sustained when he was hit with a line drive on Saturday night.

After he was selected out of St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Overland Park, Kan., Pint was beset with nagging injuries and control difficulties. He retired briefly during the 2021 season but gained traction after returning for 2022 Spring Training.

Through his first 10 outings at Albuquerque this season, Pint had a solid 3.55 ERA, but a couple recent rough outings ballooned the number to 7.41 in 13 games.

Pint struck out 24 and walked 16 in 17 Triple-A innings -- indications that his power fastball and ability to spin a breaking ball are works in progress. But receiving his uniform Sunday morning in the Rockies’ clubhouse was a nice milestone.

“It's been awesome,” Pint said. “I haven't been in here since I got drafted. Just seeing this place again, it brought back a lot of good memories. And it's always a place that I've wanted to be.”

Rockies manager Bud Black said he hopes Pint can give the team as many as two innings in relief, if needed.

“Here's a former [first-round] pick right within the top five in the country in 2016, and his path has been well-documented,” Black said. “We don't have to rehash that because it's quite a good story. I hope it continues on the positive side, because there was a valley in there that was pretty deep and he’s risen out of it.

“It’s a great tribute to him that he’s here. And I think there's a bright future because there's big talent in there.”

The Rockies added Pint to the Major League 40-man roster over the winter, and even though he missed much of Spring Training with an oblique injury it was clear that veteran teammates saw potential and offered mentorship. Reliever -- whose own career path has taken him through control problems, retirement and an inspiring comeback -- has taken an interest in helping Pint.

“I’ve talked to ‘Bar’ for years now, since 2020, and he’s always been that guy that’s been very open,” Pint said. “He helped me a lot through this process. 

“It’s cool, and guys appreciate your story. But at the end of the day, I kind of just want to be up here and make an impact on this team.”