MESA, Ariz. -- Highly touted shortstop Starlin Castro will likely open the season in the Cubs' Minor League system. Outfielder Tyler Colvin, though, also has made a good impression this spring. Could he make the Cubs' 25-man big league roster? "Why not?" Cubs manager Lou Piniella said Saturday. "[General manager] Jim [Hendry] and I haven't sat down and talked about what the organization wants to do as far as everyday playing. We haven't broached that subject. [If Colvin] keeps going the way he is, the subject will be broached sooner or later." Colvin, the Cubs' No. 1 pick in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft, grew up this offseason, both physically and mentally.
"Colvin is a good-looking player," Piniella said. "It's a big difference that weight he put on. He's got more bat speed, The ball is jumping off his bat. He looks like a Major League player." Cubs catcher Geovany Soto dropped 40 pounds, and pitcher Carlos Zambrano lost 15 this winter. Colvin, on the other hand, added 25 pounds, working out with team strength and conditioning coach Tim Buss in Arizona. What difference does that make for the outfielder? "It gets him stronger," Piniella said. "He's whipping that bat through the hitting area pretty good." It took a while for Colvin to get used to the extra weight. "I don't feel it anymore," Colvin said on Saturday. "Obviously, I feel strong when I'm hitting. It was really tough when I got it all on and started the running phase around Jan. 1 with 'Bussy.' It honestly felt like, 'Oh, gee, I don't know if I can run with all this.' [Buss] said, 'Don't worry, you'll get used to it.' Now, it doesn't feel like I added 25 pounds. It's normal." The workouts, which took about two hours per day, focused on his core and legs. Plus, there was a lot of running. Did he want to add the weight, or did the Cubs suggest it?
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.