CHICAGO -- A year ago, Cubs outfielder Tyler Colvin played 22 games in April with 45 at-bats and was hitting .289. He played another 23 games in May, and hit .333 that month.
This year has been different.
"It's been awful for Tyler," Cubs manager Mike Quade said Saturday.
Colvin played 21 games this April with more at-bats (51) than a year ago but hit .137. This month, he's totaled 11 at-bats in seven games and is hitless.
"I haven't been able to find as many [at-bats for him] as I want," Quade said. "Other people are as responsible for that as Tyler. He's struggled for sure, but with our outfield playing the way it is, I've got a guy sitting on the bench who's tearing it up right now in Reed Johnson. [Colvin] understands his role as a bench guy but you want to keep him involved as well."
Alfonso Soriano, Marlon Byrd and Kosuke Fukudome all have played well, which has made it tough to squeeze in an at-bat for Colvin. Johnson has played in 25 games this season but he's hitting .405.
"It's a heck of a balance every day to try to keep [Colvin] involved and get him to where he was last year and contribute on that level," Quade said. "You're also trying to win ballgames and do justice to the other guys who are hitting. It's the worst part of my day [trying to determine what to do with Colvin]. The five guys who aren't playing bother me more than anybody else. That's been a really tough situation for Tyler."
Asked if he's considered sending Colvin to the Minors to get more regular at-bats, Quade said: "We need to get him involved some way, somehow, and that's been on my mind the last few days. We'll see how this homestand plays out and take a look at that."