Minors report: Colvin shows heart, drive

Minors report: Colvin has drive

The Cubs could've used a player with Tyler Colvin's attitude last season. The Cubs' first-round pick in 2006, who is in his first big-league camp, was a clutch hitter, and in three seasons at Clemson, totaled 142 RBIs in 186 games.

"I hate to say this, but in college we stressed that," Colvin said. "With people on, you have to do your job. If you do your job, the outcome will be good. If a guy's on second base, you have to hit something on the right side, just to give him a chance to move to third, and if it gets through, he can score."

The Cubs could've used more of that in 2006.

"I wasn't quite ready," Colvin said, laughing. "But I like to come up with people on base and knock them in. I think that's part of my job. I was hitting in the three hole, and I was getting a lot of RBI opportunities."

At Class A Boise last season, Colvin batted .268 with 11 homers and 53 RBIs in 64 games. He batted third there and posted a .303 batting average with runners in scoring position.

At 21, he's one of the youngest players in camp.

"They're players just like me," he said of the big leaguers. "You realize that once you get out there. They're not up on a pedestal where you can't reach them. They're just like me -- they're guys, and to play with them is awesome."

He isn't sure where he'll be assigned this year, although early indications are that he'll go to Class A Peoria.

Three days after the draft, Colvin hit a walk-off grand slam against Oral Roberts in the Clemson Super Regional, the first in school history. The Cubs were in Cincinnati at the time and watching the game on TV.

"It's funny how many people were watching that," he said. "That was good for me to let everybody see me play, because a bunch of people hadn't seen me play."

Although he knows he's going to be assigned to a Minor League team, Colvin's mindset is that he's trying to get on the final 25-man roster. It's the right approach to take.

"I'm out here to try to win a job," he said. "I know it's not likely, but I'm not going to come out here and just fold and be happy to be here. This is a tremendous opportunity to be out here and be with the club, and I'm not going to let that pass by."

Spring Training
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Hot topic: This may be the hot topic all spring. Is outfielder Felix Pie ready for the big leagues? Let Cubs manager Lou Piniella talk about his attitude toward young players.

"A lot of organizations, the first thing they say is, 'This guy isn't quite ready and if he doesn't do it at the big-league level, it'll hurt his progress,'" Piniella said. "I've never felt that way. If you give him an opportunity, and it doesn't work out, then send them down to work on the things that need to be worked on.

"We'll see how it shakes out this spring with Felix," Piniella said. "I don't believe in rushing players. You don't rush players. You give them opportunities. If they're over their head, whether it's a pitcher or a position player, you make a move. How do you know until you give a guy an opportunity?"

So far, Pie is 2-for-7 in three games this spring.

On the move: Expect the big-league team to make some roster moves after Friday's split-squad games against San Diego and Texas. There are 58 players in camp now.

On the pine: Third baseman Scott Moore is sidelined with a sore right shoulder, which contributed to two throwing errors he made in the Cactus League opener. The third baseman batted .276 at Double-A West Tenn last year with 22 homers and 75 RBIs. In 16 games with the Cubs, he hit .263 with two homers and five RBIs.

Names in the game: Bobby Dernier is back in a Cubs uniform as a roving outfield and baserunning coach. Dernier, who turned 50 in January, played for the Cubs from 1984-87, and had 218 career stolen bases, and was caught stealing just 63 times.

Class of '06: Jeff Samardzija made his Cactus League debut Saturday against Oakland, and needed eight pitches to retire three batters.

Stat machine: Sean Gallagher, a 12th-round pick in 2004, wasn't supposed to pitch on Friday against the Angels but was needed when Neal Cotts' outing was shortened. Gallagher faced eight hitters in two scoreless innings and gave up two hits. See the next item.

What they're saying: "I thought, 'I hope no one sees my legs shaking.'" -- Gallagher, on his Cactus League debut

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.