Rookie Tyler Colvin appears to be on his way to Wrigley field to open the 2010 season on the 25-man roster.
“He’s earned the right to be here,” manager Lou Piniella said after Colvin’s four-hit day, which included a home run and an RBI triple against the Padres.
Late in the spring, Cubs’ upper management, as well as Piniella, have been up front about the fact that if Colvin was to make it to Wrigley Field, he’d have to play two or three times a week as a starter, so as not to stunt his ability to get better.
“If he makes our baseball team, I have to play him two or three days a week,” Piniella said. “Our organization, including me, don’t want a young kid like that just sitting.”
Colvin has led the majors in multiple categories this spring, including batting average, base hits and total bases through Saturday. Piniella was asked if Colvin may eventually be a top-of-the-order hitter.
“Actually, he runs better than anyone we have,” Piniella said. “he’s saying to us, ‘Get my name in that lineup. I can get some things done.’ And that’s what he’s doing.”
Also, there’s Xavier Nady’s right elbow rehab, which will also have him in a part-time role to start the first two months of the season. Piniella, in his strongest comments of the spring on Colvin, has penciled him into his outfield rotation.
“That being said, I’ve got three professional outfielders who have had long careers and good ones,” Piniella said. “This kid (Colvin) is going to have to be patient. That’s all I’m saying.”
Colvin, for his part, has remained confident but not cocky, especially after hearing that he’s pretty much made the team.
“I’ll believe it when I see it,” Covin said. “All I can do is wait for the last game on April 3 (ending the spring schedule), and see what he (Piniella) says.”
Asked if he could continue to produce in a part-time, big league role, Colvin said, “I’d like to think so.”
“I’m a competitive guy,” he added. “Anytime I’ll get an opportunity to play, I’ll give it my all. If I can do that, great.”
Colvin didn’t really have any illusions of grandeur about making the 25-man roster coming into spring training.
“Best thing was to have a good spring, and be on their minds later in the season when they needed me,” Colvin said.
As Hall of Fame catcher Yogi Berra used to say, it’s getting late early for Colvin, who has done all he can do to make the Chicago Cubs roster.