It’s only been two intrasquad games, but Brett Jackson is making quite the impression so far in Cubs camp. He may have the kind of camp that doesn’t allow the team’s original plan to come to fruition.
I happen to have a hunch that it’s going to be one of those camps for Jackson.
I’m sure the Cubs would like to give their young center fielder at least another month or so of at bats down in Iowa, along with Anthony Rizzo. The funny thing about spring training though is it can change a manager’s mind. It sounds like Dale Sveum is already prepared to ponder breaking camp with Jackson.
"We've all been around long enough to know where kids like that, guys that are pretty special players with speed, power, arm — the five-tool players — are ready to play," manager Dale Sveum said. "They make (for) some tough decisions down the stretch too. He's that kind of guy. You can see it in his eyes. He's here to impress and make this team, not to go back to the minor leagues."
You may wonder what would happen if Jackson makes the team out of camp.
I can’t foresee any scenario in which Jackson wouldn’t play everyday, so you probably rule out any kind of platoon. Jackson needs at bats no matter where they are. He seems to have a pretty good idea of what the plan is for him.
"I'm not going to make the team today, but every day is a piece to the puzzle," Jackson said. "I'm going to keep working every day until the day comes, and when it comes, I'm going to keep working there. That's obviously my goal. I believe in big things for the Cubs, and it's something I want to be a part of."
Jackson making the club could lead to the Cubs dealing Marlon Byrd, or they could be fully content with him as a nice fourth option and mentor to Jackson. Things could get really interesting if Rizzo forces the Cubs to call him up sooner than planned. That could then force Bryan LaHair into the outfield mix as well.
I'm hoping for one problematic spring.