A Chicago Cubs Blog
EST. 2007


Join The Bandwagon


Bullpen Brian's Tweets

About that Tyler Colvin for Ian Stewart Trade…

By bullpenbrian - March 30, 2013 - 1:45 pm 2 comments.

Tyler Colvin

Tyler Colvin is starting the season in Colorado, but not with big league team.

In an unexpected move, the Rockies optioned the 27-year-old to their Triple-A affiliate in Colorado Springs. However, it’s not suspected Colvin will stay in the minors for long.

Although he’s blocked from a starting job by outfields Carlos Gonzalez, Dexter Fowler and Michael Cuddyer, Colvin’s versatility to play all three outfield position, and first base, should be enough to bring him back to the bigs on a bad team.

In the meantime, the Rockies think regular at-bats will help Colvin improve on the rough numbers he posted in the Cactus League this spring:
.167 (8-for-48), 14 K, 18 games.

Cubs fans seem to have difficulty letting go of the Colvin trade (Dec. 2011) because neither RHP Casey Weathers (Colorado’s 1st Rd pick in 2007) or Ian Stewart have panned out with Chicago.

But Colvin hasn’t reached the potential many saw with him in 2010: 20 HRs, 56 RBI in 135 games. His biggest obstacle, in Chicago and Denver, in establishing himself as a starter has been a continuous struggle with hitting for contact.

2010: 100 K, 25-perent of plate appearances.
2011: 58  K, 26-percent of plate appearances.
2012: 117 K, 26-percent of plate appearances.

Granted Colvin has shown plenty of pop at the plate (.858 OPS in 2012), he strikes out far too often, whiffing at a clip of once every 3.6 at-bats in his career.

That certainly had to be one reason why Jed Hoyer traded Colvin in the first place; he’s not a player who fits the organization’s grind-it-out plate mentality. But the other reason Hoyer made the move was to replace Aramis Ramirez at third base, and Stewart was expected to be the everyday starter, which obviously takes precedent over a swing-happy fourth outfielder.

If we have to choose a winner in the trade it’s Colorado because of the inclusion of DJ LeMahieu, who was packaged with Colvin, and served a bench role as a backup infielder with the Rockies last season. Weathers, on the other hand, went (4-2, 6.62) in 31 games with the Cubs Double-A affiliate in 2012.

Realistically, however, neither side benefited greatly from the trade, and the evaluation could change entirely if Stewart finally has the breakout season the Rockies always expected, and the Cubs have been waiting for.

Besides, the Cubs already have their own left-handed batting outfielder with good pop and a knack for striking out. And Brett Jackson may have a greater upside than Colvin does anyway.


Cubs On Wrong End of Ian Stewart For Tyler Colvin Trade

By bullpenbrian - June 14, 2012 - 3:30 am 1 comment.

Ian Stewart’s bat seems to have been on the disabled list all season.

A sore left wrist, however, is what officially landed Stewart on the 15-day DL on Wednesday.

Give the guy credit for playing through the season-long pain. He’s managed to start 49 of the team’s first 61 games, but the results offensively have steadily declined.

Stewart hit .225 in April, then .169 in May. All totaled it’s a discouraging .201 average, 5 HR & 17 RBI.

It’s far from what the Cubs hoped for when they traded Tyler Colvin & DJ LeMahieu to Colorado for Casey Weathers & Stewart in early December.


Former Cubs Spring Stats

By bullpenbrian - March 19, 2012 - 12:29 am Leave a comment.


San Diego

A. Cashner


0.00 ERA

(all relief)


5 Games

5.0 Innings

4 Hits


2 Walks

6 Strikeouts

1 Save





C. Zambrano


4.82 ERA

(all starts)


3 Games

9.1 Innings

9 Hits


5 Walks

16 Strikeouts

No Ejections



M. DeRosa

.429 (6-14)

3R, 2B, HR, RBI

8 Walks


F. Pie

.158 (3-19)

2R, 2B, 3B, K


T. Colvin

.346 (9-26)

6R, 2B, 3B, HR


D. LeMahieu

.214 (3-14)

2R, 2 RBI

2 Steals

San Francisco

M. Fontenot

.333 (6-18)

5R, 3-2B, 3 BB


R. Theriot

.200 (6-30)

5R, 2B, HR



Tyler Colvin In The Doghouse?

By bullpenbrian - May 25, 2011 - 1:01 am 2 comments.

Losing Marlon Byrd to the most unfortunate of circumstances, getting beaned in the eye, is certain to leave a void in the Cubs’ clubhouse, if for no other reason than Byrd’s durability and emotional leadership.

Replacing Byrd’s offense is no easy chore, either. His bat heated up in May hitting at a .340 clip over his last 24 games.

He also hit safely in 18 of his last 21 games, including a career best 16-game hitting streak.

All totaled, Byrd’s batting .308 with 3 HR & 11 RBI, all while starting 43 of the Cubs’ first 44 games.


What’s The Plan, Cubs?

By bullpenbrian - May 18, 2011 - 1:00 am Leave a comment.

I’m confused and disappointed with the Cubs decision to demote Tyler Colvin to Triple-A Iowa.

If the Cubs intentions are to win now, or build towards the future, Tyler Colvin should be a part of the process at the big league level either way.

What good does it do putting this kid back in the minors? He showed everyone last year he’s a capable major leaguer.

Colvin is just as capable, if not more so, than Soriano, Byrd or Fukudome in the outfield in both run production and fielding. And Lord knows this team could use a dependable fielding mit.

I’m also greatly disappointed with Mike Quade’s refusal to put Colvin into the everyday lineup?

I hailed the skipper this winter after he declared Ryan Dempster the Opening Day starter. A move, in particular, which signaled a change of thought that only the players producing best, and not just those with huge contracts, would receive the bulk of playing time.

But how can I explain Colvin riding the pine with a team that doesn’t hit with RISP, fields poorly and sits six games under .500 before June 1st?

Seriously, what’s the plan here Chicago? And whatever that might be, demoting Colvin isn’t the answer I was looking for.


Minor cure for Tyler Colvin

By bullpenbrian - May 16, 2011 - 12:50 am Leave a comment.

Cubs may have minor cure for Tyler Colvin’s major issues.

I said it Saturday. Mike Quade said it Sunday. Tyler Colvin needs playing time.

But now the Cubs are talking about shipping Colvin off to the minors?

Why, why, why?

Is there truely no place for Colvin in the everyday lineup?

Not a single opening on a team that can’t score runs? Not one, maybe two, days a week the kid could start? Seriously, we’re sending Colvin to the minors?

Listen, I know Colvin has struggled offensively this season. But give the guy a chance. He earned his playing time last year and made a good go of it.

So why on earth demote the guy? Oh, because Reed Johnson is having a hot-run. C’mon.

Tyler Colvin is…and should be…the future of this club. Not Sori, not Marlon not Fukudome…and definitely not Carlos Pena.

Moving Colvin to Iowa is on course for the Cubs most ill advised move all season (although topping multiply starts from James Russell will be hard to best).

The Cubs won’t play any better without him, and Colvin’s confidence is sure to crash in Iowa with a thud.

Don’t do it, Mike. Just let the kid play. Who knows, he might just drive in a run.


Where’s Tyler Colvin?

By bullpenbrian - May 15, 2011 - 1:00 am Leave a comment.

I don’t understand how Mike Quade can’t find at-bats for Tyler Colvin.

What has Soriano, Byrd or Fukudome done to intrenched themselves as everyday starters?

What has Carlos Pena done to deserve an everyday spot at 1B?

That’s four spots on an everyday lineup that’s utterly futile with RISP…and Quade can’t find playing time for his 25-year-old stud riding the pine?

Granted, Colvin was miserable offensively through April. But I’ll argue he couldn’t be any worse in the clutch than the current lineup.

The kid won’t break his slump watching from the dugout, either. Tyler needs to play…more often, if not everyday.

Watching Colvin sit makes me equally frustrated as watching James Russell being thrust into the starting rotation.

These are no-brainer decisions that are costing the Cubs wins…and steadily questioning my confidence in Mike Quade.


Name That Cub!

By bullpenbrian - September 20, 2010 - 12:01 pm Leave a comment.

Is averaging one home run per 17.85 at-bats.
That’s 11th best in the NL.
Five of his home runs have come vs. southpaws.
Has 14 homers and 40 RBI in his last 76 games.
Batting .296 when hitting in the five hole.
Was a Florida State League All Star in 2007
Name that Cub!


Tyler Colvin NL Rookie of the Year?

By bullpenbrian - July 25, 2010 - 12:15 am 11 comments.

Put Tyler Colvin in the race for the NL Rookie of the Year Award.

*He leads all rookies in home runs with 15.
*Leads Cubs with six game-winning RBI.
*Has nine home runs & 20 RBI since June 15.
*Is 7-for-25 in his last six games batting leadoff,
including 3 home runs & 4 RBI.
*Has played all three outfield positions well.
*And has 64 games remaining this season.

Braves outfielder, Jason Heyward (.266, 11 HR & 48 RBI),
and Washington pitcher, Steven Strasburgh (5-2. 2.32 ERA),
are sure to remain the front runners in the National league.
But Colvin, (.264, 15 HR, 36 RBI), has enough time to win
the numbers game, given Lou continues to start the 25-year-old.

Colvin, however, also faces tough competition from
Cincinnati starter Mike Leake (7-1, 3.45 ERA) and
Mets outfielder Ike Davis, (.249, 14 HR, 46 RBI).

As noted by reader Joe Robino…Florida’s Gaby Sanchez is also in the running. He leads NL rookies in hits, doubles, multi-hit games & extra-base hits.

And another commenter, Route53, reminded me of the Giants’s Buster Posey. Hot start in first 50-games, but can he keep it up?


Starting Tyler Colvin

By bullpenbrian - June 6, 2010 - 1:00 am Leave a comment.

Tyler Colvin is answering the bell.

Since mid-April the rookie is batting .322 with six doubles, five home runs, a triple, and 13 RBI.

He’s batting .333 against right-handers, hit his last two home runs off Chris Carpenter and Roy Oswalt, and has helped the Cubs to a 9-6 record in his 15 starts.

There’s no question Colvin deserves more playing time…he’s earned it…and frankly, the Cubs need his bat.

Fukudome, mired in a 12-for-53 slump, is the odd man out in the outfield. Marlon Byrd has produced all season long and Soriano has been the most consistent hitter to date.

Keep Colvin in the mix and the Cubs might actually score some runs. Perhaps, enough to spark a fizzling offense and the Cubs back to .500.

Lou’s preached more playing time for Colvin since spring training. We’ve yet to see it. Tyler’s holding up his end of the deal…time for Lou to do the same.


Our Sponsors