Extra work before season paying off for Colvin

Extra work before season paying off for Colvin

MILWAUKEE -- Even his manager has been a little surprised by Tyler Colvin's hot start for the Rockies.

After a breakout year in 2010, Colvin's production dropped off last season with the Cubs. However, over his first 10 games and 26 at-bats with the Rockies, Colvin batted .346 with a home run and five RBIs.

Including Sunday against the Brewers, Colvin had started six of the Rockies' first 15 contests. He batted in the No. 2 hole in the finale against Milwaukee, a spot where his numbers have not been particularly impressive in his career. Colvin has just eight hits in 59 career at-bats batting second, with a slash line of .136/.164/.237.

Even so, it's a spot where manager Jim Tracy likes his bat.

"He handles the bat extremely well," Tracy said. "Tyler Colvin's a guy you can put runners in motion with, and he's going to get a good swing off and put the ball in play.

"This is also a bat that you have to respect from a depth standpoint and not cheat too much to the point where if there's multiple runners, he's going to burn you and drive a ball over your head. He has that capability, he makes those outfielders stay honest that way."

Colvin also has been a valuable and versatile defender, having already played each of the three outfield positions and first base at least once each. His start Friday night gave right fielder Michael Cuddyer an extra day off to rest his bruised left big toe, while Dexter Fowler got a day off Sunday.

Tracy said the Rockies brought Colvin in two months before Spring Training to get a jump on working with the young outfielder. Colvin came to the Rockies in a trade with the Cubs in December.

"We got very proactive on this one," Tracy said. "There were some things that we saw on film that we strongly felt had to be cleaned up, that we felt like, 'This is the big reason why he took a major step backward in 2011, in relation to where he was in 2010.'

"We wanted to get started and give him the opportunity to take the information home with him, knowing he still had eight weeks to go, rather than vice versa."