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updated: 6/17/2014 9:55 PM

Ex-Cub Colvin keeps bouncing back

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  • Former Cubs player Tyler Colvin says "I've learned a lot the last few years. I definitely got to experience a bunch of different things. Just to go through that makes me a better person, a better ballplayer. Colvin is now a member of the San Francisco Giants.

      Former Cubs player Tyler Colvin says "I've learned a lot the last few years. I definitely got to experience a bunch of different things. Just to go through that makes me a better person, a better ballplayer. Colvin is now a member of the San Francisco Giants.
    Associated Press

 
 

At long last, Tyler Colvin says he's at a good spot in his baseball career.

"I think so," Colvin said Tuesday. He is now a member of the San Francisco Giants, who are in town to play the White Sox in an interleague series. "I've learned a lot the last few years. I definitely got to experience a bunch of different things. Just to go through that makes me a better person, a better ballplayer.

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"Just to keep bouncing back and being able to come up here and fight for a job, I feel grateful for the opportunity, and being on a winning ballclub like this is why I came here."

Colvin is now 28, and it's been eight years since the Cubs made him their first-round draft choice out of Clemson.

His career has been marked by fits and starts and one bizarre injury, which happened when he was stabbed in the chest by a piece of a broken bat. That happened in September 2010 at Miami, cutting short his rookie season by two weeks and leaving him with a 20-home run season.

Colvin found it tough bouncing back from that, and in December 2011, he found himself traded along with infielder DJ LeMahieu to the Colorado Rockies for third baseman Ian Stewart.

He managed 18 homers in 2012 but struggled with injuries last year and spent most of the season at Class AAA Colorado Springs.

An off-season deal with the Orioles fell through over concerns about Colvin's back, but he landed a minor-league contract with the Giants in February and came up May 10 when Brandon Belt went on the disabled list.

Colvin got off to a hot start, going 10-for-26, but he has settled into a line of .263/.317/.474 with a homer and 9 RBI entering Tuesday.

A left-handed batter, Colvin was not in Tuesday's starting lineup against White Sox lefty John Danks, but Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he has helped the San Francisco cause.

"He's been a shot in the arm for us," Bochy said. "His experience, coming off the bench or starting, he's a good defender, good baserunner and got a good bad. He's a threat up there, and he's got some big hits for us, some big extra-base hits."

Colvin seems to have come to terms with the kind of hitter he is. His walk rate was 7.3 percent entering Tuesday while he had struck out 32.9 percent of the time. Because he was a No. 1 draft pick with the Cubs, his early career was dissected right and left, with the main criticism being that his on-base percentage never would be high enough.

"That's the way I've always been," he said. "There comes a point in time when you realize exactly who you are. I'm going to strike out a lot. I'm not going to walk a ton. I'm going to hit some balls hard, and I'm going to knock in some runs.

"Hopefully, you're going to get a pitch each at-bat to hit hard. At the end of the day, if I hit a couple balls hard, I can go home feeling good about my day."

As for being speared with the bat, Colvin can shrug it off now and hope that's not what he'll become most known for. The sharp end of Welington Castillo's bad hit Colvin in the chest, causing a collapsed left lung.

"Stupid play," he said. "Maybe I'll play a little more attention next time. I've had stupid things like that happen to me all the time. It's just another thing that people will have to talk about later on.

"I'm very lucky. My granddad had to drive down from South Carolina and take me back. It's definitely a scary moment, and it's behind me now."

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