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.