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Brett Jackson is going to mess everything up

Brett Jackson is going to mess everything up

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.

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  • Nice article. It's always a good problem to have. It's a shame that Soriano contract is like one of those things you pick up in Vegas and can never quite get rid of :P

    As it is, you can pencil in Soriano, DeJesus, Byrd, and Reed Johnson. Unfortunately that 5th spot comes down to Jackson or Campana (most likely). I know Sappelt is thought of reasonably highly as well. Sczcur is probably the only guy on the 40 man who you can definitively say won't be on the opening day roster.

    I hope there's some wheeling and dealing left to be done, as the best roster may be the infeasible one.

  • In reply to Cameron Macpherson:

    There is no way he makes the roster unless he is an everyday player, and I still think that May could be his time, but with a really good spring it may be hard to send him down.

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    Sorry, I didn't mean 5th spot as 5th outfielder, I was just listing guys in order of how sure they are to be on the 25 man.

    Yes, he is an everyday player. I had started writing something about how you could have Soriano, Jackson, LaHair as your everyday outfield with Rizzo at 1B, but I had forgotten about DeJesus.

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    This front office is going to stick to the plan, because there is no reason to divert from it.

    First, spring training numbers are what they are. They mean nothing because the pitching Jackson is facing now isn't what he'll be facing in April, for a number of reasons.

    Second, even if Jackson really is ready, he won't be enough to be the difference in a playoff run. So bringing him up now isn't worth starting the arbitration and free agency clock on him.

    Marlon Bird's fate is completely separate. This team has other options, besides Jackson, should Byrd be traded, and if a deal for Byrd that makes sense presents itself, this front office will pull the trigger.

    I don't think the manager is going to have as much say on the active roster as in years past.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Good point on the clock, though I think Jackson is going to have the kind of spring where it's not so much the numbers as just showing he belongs now. I know they aren't concerned with playoff runs this year or Byrd's fate. I just feel it will be obvious they are doing the Longoria clock move if he proves he is one of their best players.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Heaven forbid the manager having much say on the active roster or lineup.

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    I don't think what Jackson does this spring is going to matter anymore than I think what Rizzo does is going to matter. This ownership and front office operate on a different wave length than past groups. There's thinking is based on reason and logic. They won't do anything for short term gain that sacrifices the long term unless they're reasonably sure it increases their chance of winning a World Series. Having Jackson up might sell a few more seats in April, but it doesn't get them any closer to a title. That said, it may not matter either way. Because if Jackson turns out to be as good or better than advertised, this front office will likely buy out his arbitration years and a few years of free agency.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Yes, and that is something I want to see them do. Lock these guys up like Cleve did in the 90's and TB does now. You may miss on a couple but you will save big money on some.

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    I said this earlier in the winter, but it bares repeating. What this roster looks like on opening should matter to anyone. What this roster looks like on August 1st and how it plays from then until the end of the season should matter to everyone, because that is going to be far more of a harbinger of things to come than what happens before then.

    On Friday, August 3rd, the Cubs play the Dodgers in LA. That will be the perfect time to make those call ups, if injuries don't force it to happen sooner. On the road is when teams normally make those kind of call ups, and I think Jackson and Rizzo will be in the lineup, and I think LaHair will be in left field.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    That would be great, however I'm calling Jackson in May and Rizzo by July.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Good call Michael...Maybe even on the 31st of July..If the Cubs know those kids are ready they'll move other pieces freely before the deadline to bring them up...When does the arbitration clock start ticking for these guys anyway?? Some say if the Cubs wait till May 1st or so, the club gains an extra half year...If any of you know the real answer, fill me in please..

  • In reply to Luigi Ziccarelli:

    It depends because Super Two is determined by a percentage of whoever gets called up. If other teams are waiting for May 1st too, it may not be late enough.

  • With any top prospects they have to look at when "service time"
    starts before they bring them up. It better to have them the extra
    year before free agency starts.

  • I lean toward him starting in AAA unless the team is confident that his contact issues are squared away. If he's hitting .350 this spring but is striking out once every 3 ABs, then I prefer he start in Iowa.

    There's also roster and cost control issues to consider but I think that should only come to play if there is doubt in the decision. If they are 90% sure he's ready, they might go ahead and promote him anyway.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Jackson if he out plays Byrd and Tony and is ready
    Rizzo before the July trade deadline ,if he is ready

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    It'll be interesting to see how they decide. I don't think they'll put too much into spring stats. It'll probably be more of a decision based on whether they think he's ready from a scouting standpoint. He'll have to really play well because if it's borderline, I think he goes down.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    John: I have to say I agree with you regarding Jackson. I keep reflecting back to Hoyer's comments this winter regarding the Padres handling of Rizzo last year. These guys seem extremely sharp; and not prone to making the same mistake twice. In addition, I just purchased the MiLB.com package in hopes of seeing Jackson, Rizzo, Vitters and crew in Iowa-so there may be a little wishful thinking mixed in here as well!

  • In reply to Upstate NY Cubs Fan:

    Ha! Yeah, it'll be fun if all of those guys are in Iowa. There's no need to rush him. Byrd can provide solid defense and I think he'll hit a bit better this year. It could also raise his trade value.

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    I see where Brett isn't the only Jackson in camp getting good press. Jay pitched three perfect inning yesterday. I have scene any recent pictures of him. Did he actually come to camp in shape? Because conditioning has been his biggest problem since his last decent season in 2009 from everything I've heard.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Now that could be the camp surprise! Also to everyone who drafted today in the Cubs Den draft, thanks and look forward to beating all of you.

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    In reply to Tom Loxas:

    Cubs Den II drafts 2 weeks from today at 2 pm.

  • John, no mention of Campana in any of the above comments. Ca U giveme some detail on him,like,could he be sent back to AAA.,did adding the supposed 15 lbs. doanythingtoimprovehis power.,did hisarm improve., is he getting better reads on the ball of the bat.,has his bunting improved to being a threat for hits or just sacrifices?

  • In reply to rakmessiah:

    He can be sent to AAA but as for the other things it's too early to tell. I think Campana has a role on this team, though probably not as a starter.

    Campana will be trying to bunt for hits. He knows it's his role to get on by any means possible.

  • Barney ringing doubles, Marmol throwing strikes, Cubs running aggressively on the bases.

    What the heck is going on here?

  • And Beliveau making me glad the Cubs invited Miller to camp.

  • In reply to bruno14:

    Ha! Me too. You never know what you're going to get from rookies, so always nice to have veteran backup. I'm hoping that it was just a case of nerves for Beliveau, though.

  • Boy, there I was getting irrationally happy over the Cubs doing a few things right and now a couple minor league pitchers reproduce last year's Cub pitching and I am getting irrationally depressed. It's good to have baseball again.

  • In reply to bruno14:

    Ahh, the ups and down. Hopefully the kids coming in and bopping the ball cheered you back up.

  • I am in spring training for manic depression

  • In reply to bruno14:

    Ha! You should at least wait until June.

  • Trade Soriano and Byrd for a new paint job for the clubhouse.

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