Tag:Tyler Colvin
Posted on: February 25, 2011 3:22 pm
Edited on: February 25, 2011 3:25 pm

Quade has zero good leadoff options

Sunday, the Cubs will begin Cactus League play. Kosuke Fukudome will bat leadoff for Mike Quade's team, but that doesn't mean traditional fast-starter will be the first Cubs hitter on April 1 in the season opener. Quade told the Chicago Tribune it's far too early to know who he is going to lead off on that day.

The problem is, Cubs fans are going to complain no matter who Quade pencils into that leadoff spot, because every single player on the team is ill-suited to hit there.

In the above linked article, the Trib noted how dreadful Fukudome was in the leadoff slot last season. He does have a career .446 OBP in March and April, however, so he might be the best option. Still, he generally regresses as the season moves along and is only a career .233 hitter in the leadoff spot -- so it's not like he appears the long-term solution.

But look around the rest of the roster.

Starlin Castro is going to hit second, Quade has announced. The future star still doesn't have enough grasp of the strike zone to man the top of the order.

Alfonso Soriano? That's old hat and let us all thank Quade for not subjecting us to those debates again.

Aramis Ramirez, Geovany Soto and Carlos Pena are obviously not options.

Marlon Byrd had a good season last year, but only 31 walks in 630 plate appearances to go with a .293 batting average doesn't fit. He's more a six-hole at this point.

Blake DeWitt has a career .335 OBP, which would be awful for a leadoff man. He has never shown signs of being able to handle much more than the eight-hole, but he is only 25.

Tyler Colvin's .316 OBP is even worse, so even if he supplants Fukudome as the early-season starter -- there's no doubt the job is his for good once mid-May strikes -- he's not viable at the top.

So, if you were Quade, who would you bat first? I honestly think I'd go into the season with Fukudome and hope that someone else shows a good penchant for getting on base during April and the first few weeks of May. Maybe Castro adapts, DeWitt surprises or Colvin alters his approach. The most likely scenario is this will be a hole for the entire season, which isn't the worst thing in the world. He could always just force Byrd up there out of necessity -- the veteran is enough of a professional to deal with it well. After all, the Giants entered last season with Aaron Roward atop the order.

-- Matt Snyder

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Posted on: October 15, 2010 6:03 pm

R.I.P. Cubs: More meltdowns, more problems

RIP As the sports world waits for the crowning of a champion, 22 other teams are busy preparing for spring training. What went wrong for these teams, and what does 2011 hold? MLB Facts and Rumors here at CBS Sports will be answering those questions through all of October. The lovable losers everyone knows as the Chicago Cubs are up next.

In the last season of Lou Pineilla's managerial career, the Cubs stumbled out of the gate and never got on track although the team responded under the leadership of interim manager Mike Quade.


Give the Cubs credit: they got the losing out of the way in the first half so fans weren't crushed by a late-season swoon.

Carlos Zambrano Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez, the two big boppers who were expected to anchor the order, must have thought they were retired. After all, when your 3-4 combo combines for an OPS under .700, you know things went wrong. Lee finished at .233/.329/.366 in 371 plate appearances while Ramirez one-upped him (or is it one-downed?) with a .207/.268/.380 mark in 261 PA.

That wasn't even the story that got national attention. What did was Carlos Zambrano's season from hell. He began the year as Cubs ace, found himself in the bullpen before the end of April, then was moved back only to have a meltdown while pitching against the White Sox on July 25. Big Z (pictured, left) and Lee had to be separated in the dugout and the right-hander was suspended. He returned days later to the bullpen before moving back to the rotation where he ended the year on a roll with a 1.41 ERA in 11 starts. The strong finish wasn't enough to wipe the puckered lips from Cubbie fans -- especially with Z due just under $36 million the next two seasons.

And to cap it all off, rookie sensation Tyler Colvin had his lung impaled by a shard of a broken bat. Nice.


If Zambrano's turnaround didn't do it, then Aramis Ramirez' own turnaround helped. As soon as Ramirez got a three-day respite in mid-July, he came back strong, cranking 15 homers the rest of the way for a .276/.321/.526 line. While the second half saw veterans such as Lee and Ted Lilly traded, the play of new blood plus a 24-13 finish under Quade turned frowns into half-smiles, dreaming of what could be in 2011. (Stop it, Cubs fans! Stop it right now. These are the Cubs.)

One thing Chicago did have going for them was a dominant closer and setup man. Carlos Marmol struck out a wicked 138 batters in just 77 2/3 innings, making his 52 walks irrelevant as he posted a 2.55 ERA and nailed down 38 saves. He was joined by converted starter Sean Marshall, and the lefty appeared in 80 games en route to a 2.65 ERA.

Former Rookie of the Year catcher Geovany Soto shook off a dismal 2009 to provide the Cubbies with a .280/.393/.497 line in 387 PA with 17 home runs. That's incredibly rare production out of catcher, but he kept inexplicably losing playing time to Koyie Hill. And one wonders why the Cubs lost almost 90 games.

The Cubs introduced plenty of youngsters to the team, none more than on pitching where Casey Coleman, Thomas Diamond, James Russell and Andrew Cashner saw extensive playing time. Cashner has a spot locked up in the bullpen and Coleman has a good shot of opening the year in the rotation.

Tyler Colvin and Starlin Castro also made impressive debuts as rookies, but unfortunately for Chicago, there is not much behind these names that will be ready for 2011. However, there's a host of candidates that could see major-league time in 2011 in advance of major contributions in 2012. Those include outfielder Brett Jackson, third baseman Josh Vitters, infielder Ryan Flaherty, starter Chris Carpenter and starter Jay Jackson, who could step in the rotation in case of injury.


The Cubs have enough horses that contention isn't impossible, but too much has to break right. So while the Cubs will talk up a good PR game, privately they'll take a third-place finish behind the Cardinals and Reds in some form. All that may require is a .500 finish, although Chicago should expect to win a few more than 81.


Tyler Colvin The Cubs won't have much money to play with as quite a few of their valued players are in arbitration. The good news is that payroll drops precipitously after 2011 and off a cliff after 2012. Unfortunately, until then, the Cubs are essentially locked into near every position, but there's still room to improve. They will have an open first base spot (unless Tyler Colvin moves to first) and second base (unless the team keeps Blake DeWitt as a starter). The bullpen could also use some reinforcements.

There isn't much in the way of first base prospects, so the Cubs might be better served to see what Colvin (pictured, right) can do at first base. That would leave Kosuke Fukudome manning right, but since the Japanese import can't hit lefties, Jeff Francouer could come in and serve as a platoon partner and serve as fourth outfielder.

At this point in DeWitt's career, he is essentially a backup so the Cubs have to go and get another player. Inking Bill Hall could pay major dividends if his comeback in Boston was for real and should be available for short years and reasonable dollars. The Cubs can then stack the bullpen with an arrangement of solid relievers that don't break the bank and use the savings for two things: signing bonuses in the draft and getting rid of players with no future in town. That includes Ramirez and Fukudome as well as the all-but-untradeable Alfonso Soriano.


The Cubs will have some growing pains in 2011 as the team shakes free of the old regime and begins a new one in town with plenty of cash to sign upcoming free agents. Not only are the Cubs in too transitional of a stage to play heavily in the free-agent market this offseason, the market is poor as well. Next season will have some strong free agents that the Cubs could jump at. Look for Chicago to finish around 85 losses.

Check out the rest of the R.I.P. reports here .

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: September 22, 2010 3:45 pm
Edited on: September 22, 2010 3:46 pm

Colvin released from hospital

Tyler Colvin Cubs rookie Tyler Colvin was released from a Miami hospital on Wednesday, the team announced.

Colvin was sent to the hospital on Sunday after a part of Welington Castillo's bat hit Colvin in the chest and caused air to get into his chest.

Colvin will miss the rest of the season.

 -- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Category: MLB
Posted on: September 21, 2010 10:56 am

Maple bat reaction coming in

We've got a full news cycle since Tyler Colvin was impaled by a shattered maple bat, so there's been plenty of time for response, including MLB's .

Here's a sampling of some more reaction, starting with Oakland reliever Brad Ziegler, who was cut by a maple bat earlier this season.

Ziegler (via the San Francisco Chronicle ):
"A little higher and it could have struck him in the throat," Ziegler said. "I'm worried there won't be interest in doing anything until it's too late and it takes a lawsuit when a player or fan gets hurt."

Maple bats now must meet stricter standards to be approved, but, Ziegler said, "Until they are eliminated, the danger is still there. ... This is like having a 2-pound tomahawk flying through the air."
Boston's Mike Cameron (via the Boston Globe ):
“I don’t think that’s the problem,’’ said Mike Cameron, who uses both maple and ash. “I think the problem is the weight of the bats, the way they’re designed. All maple bats don’t break like that.

“I think the maple bats are something that can be very dangerous when guys get really light ones, really thin handles. They don’t have any give in them. I’ve had some ash bats that do the same thing. I don’t think that it’s as violent because of the bend in the bats. But probably the biggest thing is when they break, they leave these points. The impact from the ball and a major league player and a bat is going to make a dangerous impact.’’
Astros third baseman Chris Johnson (via the Houston Chronicle ):
"I'm pretty close and if bats break I have to be on the lookout, but I think that's part of the game," Johnson said. "Pitchers are trying to do that — pitchers are trying to break bats - and bats are going to go flying whether they're maple or ash." And Astros general manager Ed Wade:
"I think we have to continue to conduct the studies that have been ongoing," Astros general manager Ed Wade said. "When bats become spears or projectiles, it's of concern. They have implemented some changes over the course of the last year or so, and sometimes these things will continue to happen no matter how many safeguards you build into it." -- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: September 20, 2010 4:33 pm

MLB won't ban maple bats

Major League Baseball has said it can't fix the shattered bat problem by simply banning maple bats in reaction to Tyler Colvin's hospitalization after being hit by a piece of Welington Castillo's bat on Sunday.

"People say ban maple bats," MLB executive vice president of labor relations Ron Manfred told the Chicago Tribune 's Phil Rogers . "We couldn't play if we banned maple bats. There's not enough ash available. If you banned maple, you'd find there's not enough high-quality ash available. We're dealing with an ash blight in the United States."

Manfred told Rogers that MLB hopes to increase safety requirements for 2011. MLB has put in restrictions before each of the last two seasons on bats. For 2011, MLB will look to make handles thicker and barrels thinner, but will need approval from the players' association.

According to Manfred, the "multiple-piece fractures" have declined 30 percent from 2008 to 2009 and an additional 15 percent this season.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Category: MLB
Posted on: September 20, 2010 11:29 am
Edited on: September 20, 2010 11:30 am

Colvin releases statement

Tyler Colvin Cubs outfield Tyler Colvin remains in stable condition in a Miami hospital, and is expected to be there for a few more days.

Today he issued a statement through the club:
“I want to thank Cubs fans for their support all season, especially right now, and let everyone know that I’m doing OK,” said Colvin.  “I also want to thank everyone who has helped take care of me here in Miami – the Cubs and Marlins training and medical staffs, the EMTs at the ballpark and everyone here at the hospital.
“You never want to have a season end early, and I’m disappointed that I’m not going to be able to make it through the finish line with the rest of my teammates.  That being said, I couldn’t be more thankful for the Cubs organization, my teammates and the opportunity to play for Cubs fans my rookie season.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
Posted on: September 19, 2010 6:51 pm
Edited on: September 19, 2010 7:25 pm

Maple bats to become a hot topic again

Tyler Colvin For the last couple of years, the subject of shattered bats has been  a topic the media has found interesting, if not anyone else.

Sunday's events in South Florida may change that.

Cubs rookie Tyler Colvin is currently at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami with a tube in his chest keeping his lung from collapsing after he was hit by part of Welington Castillo's bat. Colvin is being treated for pneumothorax, a puncture of the chest cavity, which allowed air into the chest wall with the potential of a collapsed lung. He will remain hospitalized for two-to-three days and won't play again this season, Cubs manager Mike Quade told reporters.

Castillo told the Chicago Tribune 's Paul Sullivan he didn't know what was going on at first, but once he realized what happened, he was having trouble keeping it out of his mind.

"I feel really bad about it," Castillo said. "It's wasn't on purpose, but he's my teammate."

Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija was on deck when Colvin scored.

"I thought he was fine, I thought we were just joking around," Samardzija said. "I saw  little something on his shirt and said, 'Hey man, you should probably get inside.'"

Marlins catcher Mike Rivera said it looked like Colvin "was being stabbed."

Pirates hitting coach Don Long was hit in the face by a broken bat two years ago. After Sunday's events, he told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 's Rob Biertempfel , "I got hit in the face. [Colvin] got hit in the chest. I mean, what's it going to take?"

Long was hit by Nate McLouth's shattered bat made of maple.

Wellington Castillo Quade even said he was surprised it hadn't happened sooner, noting maple bats.

The Associated Press' story notes Castillo was using a maple bat.

The conventional wisdom is that maple bats tend to shatter more when they break than bats made of ash. Even if the maple bats don't break as often, the theory goes, when they do break, they're more dangerous.

MLB reduced the number of maple bat suppliers authorized to have ether goods used in the big leagues before the 2009 season and made some changes in the minor leagues before this season. More changes could be on the way if Castillo was indeed using a maple bat.

UPDATE: Castillo told MLB.com that he's used maple bats his "whole life."

At least one teammate, Jeff Baker, said he doesn't like maple bats because of the way they can shatter.

"That's the danger of a maple bat," Baker said. "I saw an umpire get slashed on the neck in Kansas City. It's just not worth it to me to use that kind of bat. I don't want that on my conscience."

Umpire Brian O'Nora suffered a concussion and a cut on his forehead after part of Miguel Oliva's broken bat hit him in the head in a game in 2008.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Posted on: September 19, 2010 2:38 pm
Edited on: September 19, 2010 5:15 pm

Cubs' Colvin hit by bat

Wellington Castillo Cubs outfielder Tyler Colvin was hit by a broken bat and has been taken out of the team's game at Florida.

Colvin was hit in the chest by part of a broken bat while scoring from third on Welington Castillo's ground-rule double in the second inning.

Blake DeWitt took his place in the lineup, moved to second, while Micah Hoffpauir was moved to left field, Brad Snyder from left to right and Jeff Baker from second to first.

This story will be updated as soon as more is known.

UPDATE: This update from the Chicago Tribune 's Paul Sullivan on Twitter :

Colvin in stable position after being impaled by bat in upper left chest. Minimal external bleeding. Chest X-rays and sutures. Scary Colvin is currently at a Florida hospital.

Tyler Colvin UPDATE: Just saw the replay: the top half of Castillo's bat hit Covlin -- who was watching the ball go into left field -- hit Colvin above the heart. Most of the bat then bounced to the ground, so it wasn't like something you'd see in a vampire movie, but it appeared there was a visible shard of the bat stuck in Colvin with blood around it.

UPDATE: Sullivan has this update :
He was transported to the Ryder Trauma Unit of Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, where X-rays are being taken and the wound is being sutured. Colvin may stay in the hospital overnight.

UPDATE: Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times tweets that Colvin will remain in the hospital two-to-three days as the bat punctured his chest wall and air got into his lungs. Despite that, Colvin is OK and his status is still stable.

UPDATE: Sullivan says (via Twitter ) that Colvin has a tube inserted inot his chest to allow air in and prevent his lung from collapsing.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com