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03/28/10 4:18 PM ET

Colvin makes Cubs' Opening Day roster

Young outfielder rewarded for sizzling Spring Training

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Tyler Colvin is in.

Cubs manager Lou Piniella said Sunday the young outfielder, who was batting .475 this spring, has made the Opening Day 25-man roster.

There are now four players -- Kevin Millar, Chad Tracy, Micah Hoffpauir and Sam Fuld -- battling for one spot on the Cubs' bench. When first asked before Sunday's game about the final roster decision, Piniella talked in generalities.

"Everybody who is here has special merits," Piniella said. "It's just a question of which way we decide to go. We'll probably sit down and talk about it at length. Everybody brings something to the table. They wouldn't be here if they didn't. We only have one spot. That's the problem and there are four people left and we can only keep one."

OK, if there are four left, then Colvin is in?

"If we can't keep Colvin after the spring he's had, something's wrong," Piniella said.

Colvin, the Cubs' No. 1 Draft pick in 2006, said Saturday he won't believe he's made the big league roster until he's traveling to Atlanta for the season opener. Has Piniella told him?

"I'll help him today to get on the plane," Piniella said. "He's had a heck of a spring. My gosh, you should be rewarded for coming to Spring Training [like that]. Look at [reliever James] Russell -- he hasn't given up a run this spring and he'll be with us. You reward the performance in spring. If not, there's no sense in keeping statistics."

It will come down to Piniella giving Colvin enough playing time to stay sharp. The Cubs have three veteran outfielders in Alfonso Soriano, Marlon Byrd and Kosuke Fukudome.

"I have to do that," Piniella said about playing time. "I've talked to Jim [Hendry, general manager] about that. I've got to find some playing time for him. We don't want him just making the club and being a defensive replacement. We want him to do a little playing."

The final roster decisions are expected to be announced Tuesday or Wednesday. Both Millar and Tracy are non-roster invitees. Millar, a right-handed bat, was hitting .276 in 16 games and started at first base Sunday in place of Derrek Lee, who fouled another ball off his left foot. Tracy, a left-handed bat, was hitting .273.

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