Most of the position players on the Cubs roster have enjoyed some form of success on offense this season. While the Cubs may not be scoring runs, they are among the league leaders when it comes to team batting average. However, one player that has yet to find any form of success on offense is Tyler Colvin.
I already noted a couple weeks back that Colvin was trying to make the most of his opportunities in his rare at bats this season. In this case, it has hurt his production. Colvin has been pressing a bit on offense by trying to do too much in an effort to get more playing time. However those efforts have resulted in .113/.191/.258 line for Colvin in 62 at bats this season.
The scuffling start by Colvin has left the Cubs at a crossroads when it comes to the 25 year old outfielder. In many ways this season was supposed to be Colvin’s coming out party as an everyday player for the Cubs, but so far, it has seemed like his going away party. It does not help Colvin’s situation that Alfonso Soriano with 11 home runs and Kosuke Fukudome with a .344/.454/.389 line have gotten off to hot starts this season. As that has made Colvin a permanent fixture on the bench.
The bottomline is that Colvin needs at bats so that the Cubs can determine just what type of player he actually is. As the question is still unanswered on whether or not Colvin is an everyday player. From the sounds of it, Colvin is going to get his desired at bats. The only problem for Colvin is that it probably will not be with the Chicago Cubs. Without directly saying so, manager Mike Quade alluded to the idea today that Colvin will likely be sent to Triple A-Iowa so that he can see some playing time on a daily basis.
That obviously is the right choice for both the Cubs and for Tyler Colvin. Colvin does not really fit into the role the Cubs have him in. That role being a reserved outfielder who sees most of his playing time as a defensive replacement or as a pinch hitter. Colvin is at his best when he is a platoon outfielder, where he is in the starting lineup on a consistent basis. That was the original plan for Colvin, but was scratched after Fukudome’s impressive start. At least now, Colvin will soon be given a chance to play everyday, albeit, in the minor leagues.
As for who the Cubs would call up to replace Colvin, the likely option is Lou Montanez. Montanez is off to a really impressive start with the Iowa Cubs as he is hitting .360/.417/.600 with 5 home runs and 33 RBI’s through 125 at bats. Montanez spent most of his time in Baltimore as a reserved outfielder and would likely fit the role better than Colvin. Again that does not mean Montanez is better player than Colvin, it simply means that Colvin is a player that needs at bats on a regular basis. Montanez, on the other hand, is a player that is suited for being a reserve outfielder coming off the bench.