Jurickson Profar struggled from the right-side of the plate last season. He batted .188 with one home run and nine RBIs from that side, compared to .258 with five home runs and 17 RBIs from the left side.
Profar spent this off-season working on his right-handed swing and has also taking more swings from that side this spring.
“I’ve worked very hard on both sides and I feel comfortable, I feel good,” Profar said. “You have to take swings from both sides every day during cage work, BP. You have to make sure you take the same amount of swings on both sides to keep it together.”
Manager Ron Washington said the team has never considered having the 21-year-old Profar hit only from the left side, where he’s had the most success. Washington has seen improvement by Profar from the right-side, although the results haven’t shown up yet in Cactus League games.
It’s been a small sample size so far, of course, but Profar is 0 for 5 this spring against left-handed pitchers. He’s 9 for 24 (.375) against right-handers.
Profar has also been slowed by right shoulder tendinitis. He has yet to play the field, but should be ready at some point in the next week. In the meantime, Profar has been going through routine fielding drills – everything but relays and cutoffs – and expects to be ready by Opening Day.
“I’ve been practicing my ground balls, it’s going to be the same ground balls in the game,” Profar said. “My footwork around the bag, too, is going to be the same thing in the game. I’ll be ready to go.”
Briefly• Tuesday’s starter Joe Saunders on if he has to prove himself: “You always want to come out and give a good impression. That’s my goal. It’s my job to go out there and perform for the ballclub.”
• Ivan Rodriguez, a special assistant to GM Jon Daniels with multiple roles as an instructor and team ambassador, has made his annual visit to camp.
• Left-hander Martire Garcia is scheduled to pitch in Tuesday’s ‘B’ game. He signed this off-season after spending five seasons in the Twins’ organization from 2007-11 and most recently pitching in Japan.