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Rockies send Tyler Colvin to Triple-A

Colorado Rockies v Seattle Mariners

PEORIA, AZ - MARCH 04: Tyler Colvin #21 of the Colorado Rockies hits a double against the Seattle Mariners during the second inning of the spring training game at Peoria Stadium on March 4, 2013 in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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After hitting .290 with 18 home runs, 72 RBI and an .858 OPS with the Rockies in 2012, Tyler Colvin will begin this season in the minor leagues.

According to Thomas Harding of MLB.com, the Rockies announced last night that Colvin was optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs. The surprising move clears the way for infielders Reid Brignac and Jonathan Herrera to make the Opening Day roster.

Colvin batted just .167 (8-for-48) with 14 strikeouts in 18 games during Cactus League play. While spring training statistics are generally meaningless, the Rockies clearly believe that regular at-bats in the minors will be beneficial. He doesn’t figure to stay down there for long, especially if he gets off to a hot start or the Rockies have an injury.

Colvin, 27, is under contract for $2.275 million this season.