The Cubs’ defensive struggles in Spring Training have been widely noted by every reporter that is covering the team. Two players that are in the middle of the team’s defensive struggles are Blake DeWitt and Tyler Colvin. Both DeWitt and Colvin are entering an important season with the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs are hoping that Dewitt, 25, will be able to take over the second base position on a full time basis as well becoming the team’s leadoff hitter. As for Colvin, the Cubs are hoping that with a full season of playing time he should be a successful middle of the order hitter. However, both appear to have pressure building on them because of their lackadaisical starts to Spring Training.
Cubs manager Mike Quade addressed the slow defensive starts from Colvin, and DeWitt on Wednesday at HoHokam Park…
"Both made misplays Tuesday in Scottsdale that didn’t go down as errors, and manager Mike Quade spoke about his concerns Wednesday morning at HoHoKam Park. Quade said both have work to do, especially DeWitt’s work around the bag in turning double plays.“I believe because of his work ethic, he’ll get better,” Quade said. “Where he’s going to wind up with all this hard work, time will tell.”Colvin has made three errors, along with some poor throws and misjudged fly balls. Quade said perhaps learning to play first has affected Colvin’s play in the outfield.“I’ve been surprised,” Quade said. “It’s not that unusual if you place demands on somebody in a different area that you haven’t before, that maybe they make a few mistakes in another area, let alone the area they’re working on.” Chicago Tribune"
Usually at this point, players are getting more accustomed to playing on an everyday basis and the errors begin to decrease. For the most part that has been the case for the Cubs. As Starlin Castro and Aramis Ramirez have been playing much better defense. However, both Colvin and DeWitt continue to have their problems on defense. From the sounds of it, it seems Mike Quade is not too concerned about the two’s defensive struggles just yet.
However, Quade seems to be preaching the idea that if you work hard and improve, then you will get the proper playing time. Which makes things interesting for both DeWitt and Colvin. Both are expected to be part of a platoon this season; as DeWitt figures to split time with Jeff Baker at second base and Colvin will share time with Kosuke Fukudome in right field. If DeWitt and Colvin continue to have problems on defense, their playing time may be in jeopardy.
While Jeff Baker is not in a position to take over second base on a full time basis, Darwin Barney may be the next Ryan Theriot for the Cubs. Assuming Barney beats out Augie Ojeda for one of the final spots on the Cubs’ 25 man roster, he could be in a position to take over the second base position by the All-Star break.
Tyler Colvin’s situation is a bit more intriguing than DeWitt’s. Kosuke Fukudome–to this point–has not been considered to be an everyday right fielder. Meaning it would be hard to imagine that the Cubs’ would sit Colvin on a regular basis because of his poor defense, and due to the fact that he is being depended on this season as one of team’s biggest run producers. Like the Cubs will be dealing with growing pains from shortstop Starlin Castro this season, I’m sure they will be doing the same with Tyler Colvin. Both Castro and Colvin are the main parts of the Cubs youth movement.