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Hey look! It's Brett Jackson! Wait, never mind. It's Clayton Kershaw.

Hey look!  It's Brett Jackson! Wait, never mind.  It's Clayton Kershaw.
Clayton Kershaw and Brett Jackson

We've had some pretty bit stuff happen in the past few days, so we're going to catch up on a few things, starting with some inside info from Tom...

 

  • Okay, maybe we're not wrong.  Carrie Muskat just corrected her tweet and said that it was Clayton Kershaw she saw and not Brett Jackson.  I guess Carrie was as excited as we were to see Jackson with the team.
  • Well, looks like our source was wrong or maybe covering it up, but Brett Jackson just got called up according to Carrie Muskat.  Now, Tom's source did say barring an injury...but what if it's barring a trade?  As of now, Muskat says that there is no known corresponding move.
  • Tim Sheridan of the great Cubs blog, Boys of Spring, has an outstanding video that includes an interview with Albert Almora, highlights of Jorge Soler, Dan Vogelbach, and some of the other AZ Cubs, which has been home to a lot of top talent this season.  Keith Law called the AZ Cubs "loaded", so take a look for yourself.
  • Tom has learned through a source that the Cubs plan on calling up Brett Jackson but, barring an injury, it won't happen until the rosters expand in September.  Jackson's contact issues have been well documented and it has probably cost him an earlier call-up.  At this point, Jackson has played a full-season's worth of AAA ball, which was the benchmark set for 1B Anthony Rizzo.   In 152 AAA games, Jackson has hit .270/.355/.506 which comes out to an .861 OPS.  He's hit 25 HRs and has stolen 32 bases in 38 times.  All superb numbers until you come to the number 218, which is the number of strikeouts he's had.  For Jackson, it would seem it's more than just a simple benchmark.  The Cubs need him to make certain adjustments in his swing and approach that should help him cut down on his strikeouts.  They're not unrealistic here, they know he's going to strikeout and he's not going to hit for average, but the hope is that he can cut them down enough to allow him to showcase the rest of his all-around game.
  • It's never too early to start thinking about next year's draft.  Now that their pitching staff has lost 2 good starters, it seems pretty likely that the Cubs will have a top 5 pick.  Next year's draft isn't an especially strong one, though it did get a boost with the unexpected addition of Stanford RHP Mark Appel.  The Cubs have to hope that 5-6 good players emerge as the cream of the crop, much as what happened this past year when they were able to land the player they had targeted, Albert Almora.  So who's out there now?  Well, if you're big into the draft and will be in the Chicago area on Saturday, August 18th, I have tickets courtesy of the Baseball Think Factory for the Under Armour Game which showcases some of the best high school talent in America.  Click here to see the rosters.  I'll be there and so will many from the baseball industry as well as the media, and probably some of your favorite prospect gurus.  Get a jump on next year's draft and join me at the event at Wrigley Field.  If you're interested, please contact me either via the comments section or by e-mail.  My e-mail address is in the "About" section on the main page menu.  It will be first come first, first serve.  Depending on availability and if you are among the first to contact me, I should have enough available that you can invite friends/family as well.
  • Mastercard is having a promotion called Mastercard Priceless Chicago that brings customers closer to their passions, including the Chicago Cubs.  You can take pre-game batting practice with the Cubs.  You can have lunch with one of the Cubs players on August 27th or Tom Ricketts on August 20th.  In addition, Mastercard is providing millions of  cardholders with memorable experiences involving the Chicago Bears, great restaurants, and other things that make Chicago great.  To learn more, visit them on Facebook.

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Filed under: News and Notes

Tags: Brett Jackson

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  • In terms of the draft, BA just put out their (ridiculously early) Top 50 prospects list. Appel is #1, followed by Ryne Stanek (RHP - Arkansas) and Sean Manaea (LHP - Indiana State). As cool as it would be for the Cubs to have a new Ryne, there are some questions about his ability to stick as a starter.

    Obviously this list will change significantly between now and the draft, but I think the Cubs need to get in the Top 2 or 3 of the draft. Higher picks, bigger draft pool, bigger international FA pool. No sense winning games down the stretch this season and picking 7th.

    Cubs currently have the 4th worst record, but are only .5 game behind (or would be ahead?) of the Padres. Rockies are 4 games worse than the Cubs, but that's just a couple Volstad starts difference. Astros are way out in front (8.5) and probably can't be caught.

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    I don't think they're going to win much down the stretch. They should probably get a top 3 pick, which will be painful to watch from here to October -- but it will make the draft that much more exciting.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I have a feeling the Cubs will be surprisingly active before August 31st.

  • Definitely Soriano, Marmol, and Baker are in play here. Maybe guys like Camp too.

  • First trade of August. Oakland C Suzuki to the Nats.

  • Not an earth shaking deal, but solid deal for the Nats, I guess.

  • It's possible they could draft as high as 10th. I want them to play
    good sound baseball, but still not win. We need another good
    draft with a very high (4-6) draft pick.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    I can't imagine not rooting for the Cubs to win. I always think about the draft pick when the season is over, or maybe in the last week or so if it's close.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    it is so weird because I'm in the "lose for top pick" camp (sidenote: football's suck for luck is a more efficient term.....maybe 'play like hell to draft appel'?

    Anyway, I want them to lose, but if i watch or listen i'm always rooting for them. it is hard to balance short-term and long-term interests!

  • In reply to cubbie steve:

    Exactly...like Matt said below, you think about it after they lose and console yourself with that silver lining.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I know what you mean. As I watch a game I'm always rooting for a W. Once they lose though I just look at it as a point towards a higher draft pick!

  • In reply to Matt McNear:

    Yes! Much, much easier to do it that way. It's like a great consolation prize!

  • Is that when Vitters will be promoted or will he be promoted during this month?

  • In reply to cubsrock1988:

    We didn't hear on Vitters...so that omission is interesting in itself.

  • John, As always you have interesting articles and updates on what's happening The next two years may not be the best because of the concentration on rebuilding the cubs. The most we can hope for is they may be competitive in 2013 but that is slim. The economy is down and cubs tickets may not sell as well. Ricketts could sell more tickets if h lowered the prices. Quantity will help make up the difference in profits. Do you know if any thought has been given to that in the years ahead?

  • In reply to pricewriter:

    Thanks Pricewriter! I don't know if that's been considered. I could see more of a price freeze than a reduction. We'll see. I'm not a good economist, so I don't how the quality vs. quantity profit scenario would shake out.

    It's going to be a tough year or two, but I think the Cubs won't gradually get better, I think it'll come together at once, like it did in 1989 or 2003. The hope is that they can build on that success focused around young talent this time.

  • John, any chance the Cubs claim someone on waivers in order to 'flip 'em' this off season?

  • In reply to cubbie steve:

    Someone just asked me that question and I think they'd do it if they don't have to give up prospects (i.e. take on a salary like Cliff Lee if they're just looking to dump it)

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    exactly what and WHO I was thinking of....and just saw Lee was infact claimed by a team(s).

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    I am sure it's just in your wording, but I really hope they gradually get better. As best I remember 1989, it kind of came as a big surprise, but the following years we didn't take that next step. The same can also be said about 2003.

    After going thru this painful and perhaps long rebuild (knock of simulated wood) I don't want to catch lighting in a bottle anymore. I am looking to get better every year until we win a title or two, and then perhaps regress while the next group of impact players is getting ready in AAA.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I think they'll get gradually better, but it may not show in the records or standings -- at least not a whole lot. Usually you see a team sort of make a leap rather than climb incrementally. Think Pirates. Last year they were much better, but still ended up in last, this year they are legit contenders. That's how I think it will shake down. Just a guess, though.

  • False alarm...Clayton Kershaw must look a lot like Brett Jackson.

  • In reply to cowboy2024:

    Yeah, I got that and already corrected. That was bad reporting/tweeting.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Almost as bad as a spring training game a few years ago when James Russell was coming into a game and a guy in a Samardzija ND jersey stood up and yelled "Let's go Shark" and his group started screaming the ND fight song. #facepalm

  • In reply to cowboy2024:

    I guess people focus on hair...but Jackson's had his locks cut recently.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Oh...apparently so did Clayton Kershaw.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Very bad. Never a fan of hers. With the old ownership she was a company shill, now she's just clueless.

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    I wonder if Brett Jackson can *pitch* like Clayton Kershaw.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    We could use that.

  • I'm not a fan of Muskat. I use to read her articles but there wasn't any real information, she was basically regurgitating other peoples info. Heck I remember one time in the off season someone asked her who she thought might be the Cubs closer the following year. Her great insight was to simply list every reliever that finished the year with the Cubs.

  • In reply to Larry H:

    She plays it safe. She does work for them, so I'm guessing she's limited in what she can say. But yeah, not a lot of good, original, info there!

  • In reply to Larry H:

    I'm with you. I've never read a more boring, substanceless writer....if she can be called that. I guess she's more of a reporter in the most literal sense. It's all she does, report. There's some good on not wanting to speculate on anything ever, but c'mon. Have an opinion on something, anything. She needs a little Brenly & Stone to her writing. She acts like she doesn't even care about the Cubs.

  • Changing topics but a question I have for everyone here is. Does anyone agree with me that we should keep Soriano here. Without him batting behind Rizzo, Rizzo will be completely pitched around IMO and that will impede his development. For that alone, I think he is worth keeping since outside of Castro, Rizzo, and Soriano here isnt a bat on this team that scares anyone in the slightest. Besides going for the #1 draft pick developing our core players like Rizzo, Castro, & Shark should be the key goal for the rest of this year.

  • In reply to Behn Wilson:

    Interesting point. Not everyone believes in protection but intuitively it does make some sense.

    At any rate, I don't know if he's really blocking anyone anyway and if they have to eat the whole salary and not get any prospects, then there's no point. That seems to be what teams are asking the Cubs to do.

  • And I am starting to get a little impatient, I think Id like to see Vitters called up. Its starting to sound like he is ready. Dont think he will ever be a Gold Glover so waiting to Septembershouldnt make much difference, Id like to see him now. I can wait on Jackson since he really needs to cut down the strikeouts, I think Vitters is the more ready of the two.

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    In reply to Behn Wilson:

    Exactly. I know he wont hit like Miguel Cabrera, but there is no way he can be worse the Miggy at 3rd. His range is 1 1/2 steps to his left and 1 to his right. Miggy does have a very strong and accurate arm though.

    Let's see what Josh Vitters can do. If he's bad, perhaps he goes back down and works his tail off and becomes the 2nd coming of Anthony Rizzo next year who struggled a bit in his first taste w the padres.

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