Coming out of Spring Training, the Chicago Cubs looked like they had five capable outfielders – a nice problem to have. Manager Lou Piniella vowed that youngster Tyler Colvin, who looked the best of the five and has the ability to play all three outfield positions, would play several times a week. But at the time, we all thought Alfonso Soriano would continue to struggle, Marlon Byrd would be just ok, and Kosuke Fukudome would fall off a cliff come late May and early June.
In the early going, the former two items did not come to pass. Marlon Byrd has been a force, and Alfonso Soriano has seen his career turn on its head. And Tyler Colvin played only sparingly – but he did continue to hit in his limited opportunities.
Now, the third of those three items has assuredly come to pass – Kosuke Fukudome, as predictable as a sunrise (or sunset, as the case may be), has become terrible. And finally, Lou Piniella says we may be seeing more of Tyler Colvin. Of course, he’s said that before, but this time, it sounds like he views Colvin as a starter.
“What I said basically was that we’re going to play him more, and we are,” Piniella said.
What’s the difference this time?
“Look, put it this way, he’s going to play a lot more than he has been,” he said. “We’ve been patient, you know? I said all along that when the time was right we were going to make this type of move, and the time is getting real right.”
So right field is Colvin’s now?
“Let’s just decipher this,” he said. “We want to see this kid in the lineup more.” Chicago Breaking Sports.
Obviously Lou doesn’t want to be tied to anything, but the obvious truth is, as long as Colvin keeps performing, he’ll keep starting. And now, he’ll likely have some leeway to have a couple bad days in a row before getting yanked. Colvin is hitting .296/.355/.582 on the year in 98 at bats.