Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Chris De Luca and Gordon Wittenmyer

Cubs' Colvin likes maple bats, breathing

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Despite suffering the worst injury caused by them yet, Cubs rookie Tyler Colvin says he's against a ban on controversial maple bats in major league baseball and plans to continue using one.

Colvin, who suffered a collapsed lung two weeks ago Sunday, when speared with the broken end of a teammate's bat while running the bases, spoke publicly Saturday for the first time since then, via conference call with beat reporters.

``I can't say much about [the maple controversy] because I use maple bats,'' said Colvin, who is able to begin jogging now but won't be allowed more vigorous work such as weightlifting for another month. ``And there's not much else to say about it. It happened, and major league baseball's done a good job of reducing the number of broken bats, and I think they'll keep working on it and getting it better.''

Asked if he'd consider switching to another wood, such as the traditional ash, he said, ``No. If somebody made me, I guess I'd have to, but it's a bat, and they're going to break. And I've seen ash bats break like that before.''

Colvin, who spent two days in a South Florida hospital before driving to South Carolina to be with his fiancé, said the freak incident won't affect him when he returns to the lineup next season.

``I'm still going to go out there and play the same way I always did,'' he said when asked about his perspective after this. ``It's not going to scare me to go out there on the field again, if that's what you're implying.''

That doesn't mean there weren't a few scary moments in the immediate aftermath, two weeks ago - when Welington Castrillo's bat head snapped and pin-wheeled straight toward Colvin coming down the third-base line.

``At contact, I thought I saw the bat going right at the third baseman, in that area, so I didn't pay any attention to it,'' he said. ``Once I turned around after I saw the ball was down [in left field], it hit me. At first it didn't really register that it stabbed me. It just felt like it knocked the breath out of me. That's why I kept on going [to the plate].

``Once I touched home, [on-deck hitter Jeff] Samardzija's like, `Are you OK?' I'm like, `Yeah, I just got the wind knocked out of me.' He's like, `No, dude, you're bleeding.' ''

Colvin spent most of his time in the hospital with a tube in his chest to re-stabilize the lung.

``My breathing's fine [now]. Once they took that tube out, the breathing got a lot better,'' he said. ``Now it doesn't bug me to do anything, breathing-wise. But early on it was kind of tough. I was afraid to sneeze and all that kind of stuff.''

Now the toughest part is watching his team finish playing while he sits at home - unable to do so much as fly for fear of compromising the healing lung.

``It stinks because we're playing so well right now and I wish I could be a part of that,'' he said, ``but I know I need to get better and be ready for next year.''

Colvin finished a rookie season with a .254 average, 20 homers and 56 RBIs, playing part-time much of the season.

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This page contains a single entry by Gordon Wittenmyer published on October 2, 2010 7:40 PM.

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