Colvin making case for more starts in center

Colvin making case for more starts in center

Colvin making case for more starts in center
LOS ANGELES -- The idea that outfielder Tyler Colvin is strictly a backup for the Rockies could be changing.

Colvin started in center field, instead of Dexter Fowler, on Saturday against the Dodgers, and manager Jim Tracy said Colvin -- hitting .314 with two home runs and 10 RBIs -- has earned greater opportunity to start.

The Rockies aren't going away from left fielder Carlos Gonzalez, who leads the team in home runs (seven) and RBIs (26), or right fielder Michael Cuddyer, who is hitting .286 with four homers and is tied with first baseman Todd Helton for second in RBIs with 21.

That means Colvin's starts will come at the expense of Fowler, who is hitting .223 with four homers and 14 RBIs.

"In any given situation he's made the most of it, whether it's starting a game, coming off the bench," Tracy said. "We've gotten quality at-bats from him as a starter. He's done a terrific job as a left-handed pinch-hitter.

"You've got to get him out there tonight. He's pushing the envelope for more time. When a player does that, you have to be mindful of it and create additional opportunities for him to play. He is making a strong statement for himself to get more at-bats than he's gotten to this point. We're doing what's in his best interest and also our baseball team's best interest in getting him additional opportunities."

Colvin and Triple-A infielder DJ LeMahieu joined the Rockies in a Dec. 16 deal with the Cubs, for third baseman Ian Stewart and right-handed relief pitcher Casey Weathers.

At this early stage it appears the Rockies are getting the better of the deal. Stewart is hitting .183 with three home runs and 11 RBIs in 109 at-bats as the regular third baseman. Weathers was removed from the Cubs' Major League roster during the spring.

Fowler has a .311 on-base percentage and 27 strikeouts in 94 at-bats and has had two errors and a couple of defensive miscues. Colvin has an outfield error and 19 strikeouts in 51 at-bats.

One reason for the change Saturday is the Rockies have a .226 road batting average as a team and need production. Fowler entered Saturday night 2-for-11 this road trip. Colvin was 3-for-7.