Tyler Colvin’s transition to the Atlantic League hasn’t been difficult — but it’s certainly been interesting.
Colvin, a Major League Baseball outfielder and first basemen who played for the Cubs, Rockies and Giants from 2009 to 2014, has provided the Ducks with yet another big bat in the middle of their order. Adapting to Independent League pitching hasn’t been the problem.
Staying healthy has been what’s plagued him.
Colvin has played in just 29 games for the Ducks thanks to a quad strain and an issue with his hip flexor. The quad strain sidelined Colvin for a month, while the current injury occurred when a runner collided with Colvin at first base just this week. He said he’s day-to-day.
“It’s been frustrating,” Colvin said. “I got here and started to feel pretty good and got banged up and tried to play through it. I ended up having to go on the shelf for a month and as soon as I got back, something else happened.”
When healthy, Colvin has provided run production. He has three home runs, five doubles and 23 RBIs in limited action, though a .225 average and .605 OPS are underwhelming. Attempting to play through the quad injury may have hurt his overall numbers earlier this season.
Still, Colvin comes with a proven track record of both power and versatility.
His best MLB season came in 2012 with the Rockies, when he produced a slash line of .290/.327/.531 over 136 games with 18 home runs, 10 triples and 72 RBIs. He hit 49 home runs and drove in 178 runs during his big-league career.
“He’s a big hitter; he’s a major-leaguer,” said manager Kevin Baez. “He has a plan and he knows what he’s doing offensively and defensively. He’s a big part of our lineup.”
Colvin said his transition to the Ducks was mostly seamless and that the other former major-leaguers on the roster didn’t give him much advice. For him, it’s been nice just enjoying the game.
“Everyone has fun playing the game here, and it’s just what you try to get back to — enjoying the game and getting out there and winning games,” he said. “That’s the most important thing.
“When you’re coming up (to the big leagues), it’s all about the process and gaining experience. But here, it’s all about winning. It’s been fun just focusing on that.”
Sean Burroughs easing back
Another ailing hitter, Sean Burroughs, appeared in 39 games before re-entering the lineup as the designated hitter on Wednesday. An injury to his throwing shoulder had caused him to miss over a month.
Baez plans to keep using Burroughs as the designated hitter until his throwing improves.
“Each day that he comes to the park and he does his treatment and does his throwing, we’ll see how he feels,” Baez said. “He’s gotten the [cortisone] shot already a couple weeks ago and he feels better, so he’s progressively getting better.”
Burroughs has produced a slash line of .283/.333/.322 in 152 at-bats with six doubles and nine RBIs through Friday. The power hasn’t been there, but he’s still been a productive hitter.
Baez and the Ducks have the luxury of taking it easy with their ailing players after winning the first-half title and clinching a playoff berth. The remaining regular-season games are of little importance, allowing Baez to rest his players until they’re 100-percent healthy.
“Every game counts and we want to win every game, but at the same time, it’s not cutthroat out there,” Burroughs said. “We can kind of take a little bit longer with guys. We don’t have to rush them back or push them.”