Other than possibly Nolan Arenado, Tyler Colvin was the most called-for player to be promoted to the big leagues by fans of the Colorado Rockies to start the season. It was hard to blame a fan base that saw him hit .290/.327/.531 with 18 home runs in 452 at-bats last year for an injury-depleted lineup. However, Rockies coaches and management saw something that gave them pause and had several players without options, forcing them to make a decision that puzzled many, myself included.
After being called up on June 8th, Tyler was a late-inning replacement in a couple of games before getting the chance to start his first MLB game of 2013 on June 11. His first week was reminiscent of 2012, and many fans were happy that he had finally joined the team. Colvin's 1.029 OPS and nine RBIs in his first seven games was quickly forgotten though when he embarked on an 0-for-21 stretch. After 27 games, Colvin was hitting .160/.192/.280 and was mercifully sent back to Triple-A. It is likely that there were many Cubs fans smirking at our dismay and maybe even a few saying, "I told you so."
For those who don't recall, Colvin had a very similar start to his MLB career with the Chicago Cubs that made him a trade chip in the first place. As a 24-year-old in 2010, Tyler played in 135 games for the Cubs and hit 20 home runs while batting .254/.316/.500. He started 2011 in Chicago, but after only seven hits in 61 at bats, Colvin was sent back to the minors. He had two more call-ups that year, going 3-for-33 in June and 21-for-111 to finish the season.
This was also not the first time that Colvin struggled in the Cubs system. After being drafted in the first round (No. 13 overall) in 2006, Tyler regressed in 2008 when asked to repeat Double-A after a decent 2007 campaign. Sometimes it seems that there are people that don't do well with success, for whatever reason. Hopefully, this is not the case for Tyler, and that he will be able to fix his swing soon.
Tyler's confidence when he remarked this season that he was an MLB player and deserved to be with the big-league team made some feel that he had an attitude issue. There isn't much other evidence to suggest this as he worked hard in Triple-A this year (unlike Ian Stewart, for example).
The Rockies are fairly lucky to have a plethora of young left-handed hitting outfielders in the system. This could be to the detriment of Tyler Colvin though, as he is already 27. With Charlie Blackmon younger and hitting better at the big-league level, it made sense to send Colvin down when the team did. How Tyler approaches the remainder of this year will determine what the club decides to do with him next year.
I wish the best for Tyler, but he has left me, and many others, with egg on our face as we loudly argued for him to replace Eric Young Jr. EY's .290/.368/.387 line with the Mets, including seven stolen bases, makes me realize that the grass isn't always greener. So, what is Tyler Colvin as an MLB player? Is he a power-hitting lefty who can play anywhere in the outfield, is he an offensive liability that doesn't provide enough on defense to be worth it, or somewhere in between?
Week in Review
The Good: Health
In a week that had the Rockies play a game with only three normal starters, it has been good to watch the last two games with a fully-loaded lineup. This includes a hurting Carlos Gonzalez that was still able to hit a home run to keep the Rockies from being shut out on Thursday. Dexter Fowler still looks like he may need to work on his timing a bit, but his start to the game against Clayton Kershaw on Friday night sure provided a spark for the Rockies.
The Bad: The replacement outfielders
Goodbye Corey Dickerson, we hardly knew you. Between Dickerson and Colvin, the Rockies lineup had more holes than swiss cheese. Corey wasn't as bad at the plate as Tyler, hitting .212/.308/.333, but that is hardly something to write home about. The good thing for Dickerson is that, at age 24, he has a lot more time to develop. Plus, more than half of his hits went for extra bases. I suspect the duo will not be gone for long and I hope we see both of them in 2014 because they earned it, not because of a lack of depth.
The Ugly: Drew Pomeranz
On a week that saw the team put Joe Gardner on waivers, the return investment on the Ubaldo Jimenez trade took another hit with the performances of Pomeranz. In two games since last Saturday, Pomeranz allowed eight earned runs in eight innings while issuing 10 walks. This is another case of be careful what you wish for, as Jon Garland does not look so bad in retrospect.