Colvin goes back to Tennessee (STAFF/PAM DAVIS)
Tyler Colvin was promoted to Class AA Tennessee from Class High-A Daytona on Sunday. The left-handed-hitting outfielder, who was the Cubs’ first-round pick in the 2006 draft from Clemson, was 0-for-1 with a strikeout in Sunday’s 10-2 Smokies loss at Carolina.
Colvin, 23, began the season at Daytona following off-season Tommy John surgery on his left elbow. He batted .250 (28-for-112) with one home run, five doubles, two triples and 10 RBI in 32 games for the Cubs’ Florida State League affiliate.
Colvin went on the disabled list in early May with a concussion following a head-on collision in the outfield with OF Tony Campana.
“It’s been a rough two months for Tyler,” said Cubs Minor League Hitting Coordinator Dave Keller. “Just dealing with the strength of coming back from [Tommy John] and as soon as he started feeling stronger and was getting his bat speed back, then he has the collision that sets him back a couple of weeks. I think right now he’s just trying to get back into the swing and get back to playing everyday.”
Colvin played in 137 games a season ago at Tennessee, batting .256 with 14 homers, 27 doubles and 11 triples. He struck out 101 times and drew a career-high 44 walks.
The Cubs’ plans all along were for Colvin to open the season at Daytona as the DH and eventually move back up to Tennessee. Colvin started 12 games in the outfield at Daytona prior to the promotion.
“Because of the pitching situation in Double-A, he wasn’t ready to throw and it was tough to justify having a guy there that couldn’t play the outfield,” Keller said. “Putting him in good weather in the Florida State League, letting him DH and get his work done with his rehab with (trainer) Bob Grimes and his work in the outfield, it was just a natural process.”
Taking Colvin’s spot in Daytona was right-handed-hitting outfielder Jericho Jones, who was promoted from extended spring training Sunday. Jones, a 20th-round draft pick from Louisiana Tech in 2008, led all Cubs short-season affiliates last season with a .340 average in 43 games in the Arizona Rookie League.
He totaled five home runs, seven doubles, six triples and 30 RBI.
“Jericho had a rough Spring Training and was starting to come back around a little bit in the first month or so of extended,” Keller said. “He wasn’t really driving the ball as much as he did last year. We tried to clean some things up with his mechanics because he just had way too much going on. He’s worked his tail off to get better and it’s good because he’s seeing some of the results now.”
Jones batted over .300 in extended spring training prior to the promotion.
“With him, just like with most power hitters, you’ve just got to develop the consistency of contact,” Keller said. “When he hits the ball on the barrel, just like a bunch of other guys that we have that have some power, the ball really jumps and they don’t have to try and do too much; they don’t have to swing too hard.
“He just needs to continue to grow with that, understand it, and I think he’s learned a lot about his swing and how he needs to improve and get better.”