DENVER -- In a move that addressed both a banged up corps of outfielders and a need for length in an overworked bullpen, the Rockies recalled Tyler Colvin from Triple-A Saturday and optioned left-handed reliever Josh Outman to Colorado Springs to make room on the roster.
Colvin began the season at Triple-A Colorado Springs and hit .293 (56-for-191) with nine home runs and 29 RBIs in 55 games. The former first-round Draft pick from the Cubs spent all of 2012 with the Rockies, hitting .290 with 18 homers and 72 RBIs in 136 games in the outfield and at first base.
"I know I'm a Major League player," Colvin said of the challenge of starting the season in Triple-A. "I knew I was going to get back. It was just when. That's the toughest thing. You could have a couple good games and think, 'All right, I'm back.' But it's not the way it works."
Colvin struggled a bit in Spring Training, missing the Opening Day roster, and he was passed over in favor of Charlie Blackmon when the Rockies called up an outfielder on May 12.
"It was tough," Colvin said. "It's a hard pill to swallow. It was a business decision. You gotta swallow your pride, and go down there and play baseball."
He has come on strong over the last few weeks, hitting .343 (22-for-70) with five home runs and 14 RBIs in his last 21 games.
"The roster evolves over the course of the season," manager Walt Weiss said, explaining the Colvin decision. "We had different needs when we broke camp this spring. Then Charlie came up and did a nice job. The fact that Tyler has performed well, especially lately, and the role we're looking at right now, the way our club sets up right now, that's why we chose to bring him up."
Colvin gives the Rockies a fifth outfielder, some necessary depth given the banged up status of the starters. Michael Cuddyer missed his second consecutive game with a left rib strain Saturday, and Dexter Fowler missed starts Wednesday and Thursday with a migraine headache. Carlos Gonzalez came out of Friday's game with an aggravated knee, but was back in the starting lineup Saturday. Fourth outfielder Eric Young Jr. has seen a lot of playing time as a result, but the Rockies had to use infielder Jonathan Herrera in his first professional outfield appearance when Gonzalez left the game Friday.
"He can play all three outfield positions," Weiss said of Colvin. "It's a power bat off the bench if he doesn't start. Our outfielders are pretty nicked up right now. It's not out of the question that he could play some first, but generally speaking, our need right now is in the outfield."
Outman, 28, started the season at Triple-A and was called up on April 19. He made 19 relief appearances for the Rockies and went 2-0 with a 4.94 in 23 2/3 innings, primarily as a left-handed specialist.
"With the way our bullpen is beat up right now, it felt like we needed more protection than the left-handed matchup guy [would offer]," Weiss said. "He's pitched in that long role also, but at this point in time, we felt like we needed more length. We've got a right-handed team coming up after this.
"That's another one that we really grinded about, who we're going to move to create that spot for Tyler. Josh will be back. When he's in our bullpen doing his thing, our bullpen sets up pretty well."
Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.