Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Quade plans more playing time for Colvin
By Bruce Levine
PITTSBURGH -- Although part of the intent of trading Kosuke Fukudome last week to the Cleveland Indians was to find playing time for Tyler Colvin, Chicago Cubs manager Mike Quade had him on the bench Sunday and Monday.
Sitting Colvin was understandable on Monday against Pittsburgh Pirates left-hander Paul Maholm, but the St. Louis Cardinals pitched right-hander Jake Westbrook on Sunday. According to the Cubs philosophy, Colvin should get the majority of the playing time in the outfield for the rest of the season.
"You'll see Colvin the next three days," said Quade, who started Colvin in right field on Tuesday against the Pirates. "We'll look to get everybody, [Alfonso] Soriano, [Marlon] Byrd, everybody will get an off day in the next few days."
After leading all rookies with 20 home run in 358 at-bats as a rookie last season, Colvin, who is in his third tour of duty with the Cubs this season, has struggled mightily. He is batting .107 with two home runs and 9 RBIs.
"I think we are committed to finding out about Colvin," Quade said. "He's going to get an opportunity, and it's going to be up to him to keep them. But I'm going to give him some shots. I'd love to see him get going against right-handed pitching, and I'll put him against guys where he has the best chance to succeed."
The Colvin episode has been one of the most disappointing elements of the Cubs' season. After recovering from a collapsed lung on Sept. 19 when a bat impaled his chest during a game in Florida, it was thought in the organization that Colvin would be the everyday right fielder this season.
The combination of Colvin's early slump and Fukudome's success at the top of the order eventually led to Colvin being sent to Triple-A. At Iowa, Colvin batted .270 with seven home runs and 32 RBIs. In 203 at-bats, he struck out 55 times and walked five times.
"The makeup of the club says he will play the next three days, and then we will go from there," Quade said. "Cincinnati also has three right-handers coming up as well so you will probably see a great deal of him. As long as he helps to contribute."
Third baseman Aramis Ramirez was back in the lineup after missing one game with a strained right quad which he incurred running the bases Sunday night against the Cardinals. He snapped an 0-for-20 slump with a single in the first inning on Tuesday.