Tyler Colvin hasn’t played much this season. And, when he has, he’s struggled. He’s already been replaced by Reed Johnson as the fourth outfielder. So, as a young-ish guy, the question is, why is he still on the big league roster?
Well, the Cubs are finally giving serious consideration to sending Tyler Colvin down to AAA Iowa where he can get regular at bats.
“We need to get [Colvin] involved some way, somehow, and that’s been on my mind the last few days,” Mike Quade said yesterday.”We’ll see how this homestand plays out and take a look at [sending Colvin down].”
After a promising rookie campaign (though his game did still have some holes), Colvin has been absolutely brutal this year. He’s hit just .113/.191/.258 in 62 at bats, and has never put together a decent stretch of baseball. Much of the blame for his struggles goes to Colvin, there’s no doubt. It’s up to him to adjust to the adjustments he’s seeing from opposing pitchers – and, for the love of God, he’s got to learn to lay off the junk three feet out of the zone.
But it hasn’t been entirely his fault. Among the foibles thrust upon him this year: he was set up to play in a platoon with another left-handed hitter, he almost never receives a regular start, he bats with the pitcher behind him when he does start, and he frequently pinch-hits against lefties.
You want some evidence that a lack of regular time has been a major culprit? The first time facing a pitcher in a game, Colvin’s OPS is an embarrassing .188. If he stays in the game long enough to face the pitcher a second and third time, however, his OPS in those at bats is closer to .750.
That tells me that, if given regular starts, Colvin would have a very good chance of getting his shit together. I’m not saying he should be handed the right field job on the big club, but, if the Cubs have any illusions that he can be a future starter, they need to allow him to play every day. If that means he plays in Iowa, then so be it. The team is doing neither itself nor Colvin any favors by watching him flounder on the bench.
And, surely, his confidence is further eroded every time he’s sent up there to strike out as a pinch hitter with a runner on third.
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