Cubs Recap: Brett Jackson and Dave Sappelt star in intrasquad game #2

Cubs Recap: Brett Jackson and Dave Sappelt star in intrasquad game #2
Sappelt (photo from BoysOfSpring.com) and Jackson

We've heard all offseason about Brett Jackson's re-tooled swing. The real test was going to be when Jackson faced live pitching. Well, Jackson showed he was up for the challenge today, going 3 for 3, including an opposite field double in his first AB (then stealing 3B) and then a line drive single in his second AB. Here's a video of that 2nd hit.


(video from @ericlpauly)

Dave Sappelt, who is looking to get some playing time vs. LHP, went 3 for 3 as well. Sappelt had 2 doubles, including one off the LF-CF wall. I've been pretty vocal about getting Sappelt in the lineup to spell DeJesus against lefties and yesterday's CF assignment bodes well for him in that regard.

Here's the rest of the recap:

White 6 - Blue 3

  • Non-roster invitee and utility infielder hopeful Edwin Maysonet hit a game-winning walk-off 3 run HR.  Maysonet is competing for that 25th man spot with Brent Lillibridge, who had a double today.
  • Luis Valbuena hit a line drive 2 run HR.  Valbuena was hitting the ball extremely well in Venezuela and perhaps he's still riding that hot streak.  I think he'll improve on his numbers this season as the peripherals show he had some pretty bad luck last season, especially in clutch situations.
  • Jorge Soler continued to impress with his plate discipline.  He walked on 4 pitches the first time up but then just missed and hit a mile-high flyout to LF in his 2nd AB.   The Cubs, in general, were very patient today, drawing 6 walks in the first 3 innings.
  • Javier Baez didn't make much noise on offense, though he did get an IF hit.  What drew the most oohs from the crowd, however, was a great defensive play in the hole at SS.  It was good to see him rebound after a bit of a tough day yesterday in the field.
  • Not much info on the pitching yet. If I get it later, I will update the recap.

Filed under: Game Recap

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  • Any word on Stewart's MRI? If he's out more than 3 days, not a good sign, no matter what publicly is reported.

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    In reply to TobaccopouchinIvy:

    Speaking of MRIs, Garza is again saying no issues, he was just too excited, can't wait to pitch more. Having noticed a correlation between Garza saying there are no issues and disaster, I wish he would stop with these assurances.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Matt seems like one of those guys who thinks with his heart a bit too much. I'm sure the Cubs will have to be the ones to show some patience. Just hope he's not so eager to go out there that he'll downplay the pain and go out before he's ready.

  • In reply to TobaccopouchinIvy:

    Not yet but I've been in and out the past few hours.

    I agree. I'm a little concerned myself. Stewart just can't afford an injury. He has too much to prove, he's on a non-guaranteed contract...he needs to play and play well. It'd be a shame because he reportedly looked good in BP and the game yesterday.

  • I like to know which pitcher got hit today......I suspect minor league guys.............i know it is inter squad games, but if you are impressive early on, these coaches will put you in A games instead of the B games........

    I feel only way Jackson joins this team is when DeJesus gets traded.........which will be in July.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    I agree here on all counts. I'll try to get the pitching info and then Ill update the piece.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Or if Soriano gets traded. Or if someone gets hurt.

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    In reply to CubsTalk:

    Disagree about Jackson's chances of making the team. Cubs have built the depth and are prepared to play without him, but if he has a killer spring and convinces FO he's adjusted and ready, they will be thrilled and take him North, then will begin working on trading DeJesus.
    Jackson showed a lot to like last season and offers the team it's best option in CF. If he struggles in ST, back to work in Iowa.
    Theo & Hoyer did a great job building depth on the roster this winter and now can make the the same kind of trades as last year without risking a total meltdown.

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    Another point on Jackson: you have to think the Cubs pitchers know the holes in Jackson's old swing as well as anyone, and are trying to exploit it.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Good point. That makes Jackson look even better if he is getting pitches he couldn't handle before and hits them.

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    Just finished reading Jesse Rogers ESPN chat. He is right there with Sullivan and Bruce in terms of meaningless commentary.

  • In reply to Louie101:

    Oh man, no kidding. The guy has no clue at all. Embarrassing choice as a beat writer.

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    Brett Jackson might make the squadd.. I'm very happy john..

  • Just watched the Soler video posted last night. Hs upper body in the swing looks like Bo Jackson when he would unload, back in the day. Giggly.

  • Jackson struggled some making contact in ST last year. If he tears it up this year I hope the Cubs reward him by taking him north. He is our best CFer and it is possible that his time has come on offense as well. Time will tell. His production the last couple weeks of ST could make it hard to justify leaving him behind.

  • Great reports from training camp, nice use of the embedded video clips by the way. Good going by the folks who are taking them and posting them, nice to see. Like to see one of Vallbuena hitting a curve ball.

    For those who may have missed it or forgotten, first wgn radio broadcast of st game is tomorrow at 1:05 az time, from tempe against Angels. Let the games begin!

  • Really hoping Brett Jackson can make the necessary adjustments to cut back on that K rate. He looks and plays like a gamer. I think he will be loved by Cubs fan with his attitude and hard nosed play. Here is to indentifying him as a core piece and keeping the train moving forward.

    Cheers!!

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    Good to see the offense, but keep in mind that hitters get ready faster than pitchers. In Spring Training, and even into the first month of the season, hitters are generally ahead of the pitchers. That starts to change later on.

    So, I have to take any offensive performance with a bit of salt

  • I'm hearing that Sveum said Valbuena could end up being our everyday 3B... Am I the only one not liking that love for Valbuena? I don't think his bat profiles very well at 3B... Besides... Making Valbuena our everyday 3B would severely weaken out bench, because now the Cubs would have to go then with someone like Edwin Maysonet to replace Valbuena in the bench... And they miss on the opportunity to see if Stewart can bounce back.

    Meanwhile, if Stewart makes it as the everyday 3B, Valbuena is more of an asset there with his versatility and if Stewart is not back, then they can just release him and promote Vitters to platoon with Valbuena... And I think that works out better cause you still get to bring a prospect up and save Maysonet for an emergency or injury.

  • I would much prefer that Stewart return to his early career levels of performance. But there is a good chance that he won't. And if he doesn't, I think that Valbuena is the best bet as a replacement. I always felt that he was hitting in extremely bad luck last year, and would have little apprehension in making him the starting third baseman.

  • In reply to DaveP:

    He did hit into bad luck, but I don't think that his bat would profile very well at 3B, not even at his best... I think Valbuena could be very valuable from the bench.

    Besides... Think about this... If Valbuena is our everyday 3B and Castro or Barney go down, who do we play for them instead? Edwin Maysonet or Brent Lillibridge everyday? Rather be able to count on Valbuena for that situation.

  • I'm not sure I understand your point. We essentially have two possibilities for starting third baseman on the squad, Stewart and Valbuena. I would much prefer Stewart. But he can't make it as a starter, I don't think we lose much moving to Valbuena. We certainly lose a lot if we than have Castro or Barney go down, but there aren't too many teams that can suffer the loss of two of their starting three infielders and not lose a lot of production.

    If Stewart does not fail, but Valbuena merely beats him out for the starting third base job, Stewart could always become a starter again, with Valbuena moving to second.

    Certainly, Valbuena's bat plays better at second than at third. But you have to play the hand you are dealt.

  • In reply to DaveP:

    I don't think I'm disagreeing with you, since I rather see Stewart bounce back, but if he doesn't what suffers the most is not 3B, it is the bench without Valbuena... Leaving someone like Maysonet as the next best thing if we need to sub at SS.

  • I've been a longtime skeptic of Brett Jackson's chances, but I'd absolutely love to be proved wrong. So out of respect for the jinx, my official position remains extremely skeptical. In that spirit, I'd like to see whether the new swing can cut down on the strikeouts without sacrificing Jackson's power, which was a necessary attribute for a guy whose BA ceiling was around .250.

    If -- big IF -- Jackson's flipped the switch and is ready to play CF in Wrigley, isn't it more likely that the club hasten its efforts to trade Soriano? I've read lots of talk about trading DeJesus, but it seems to me that this FO would prefer to sell high on Soriano, given his value as a full-time player. Plus, that would allow the DeJesus / Sappelt platoon to shift to LF, giving us a much better defensive outfield, to go along with an excellent defensive infield. With our deep (on paper, obv.) rotation and bullpen, that's the kind of team that could win a lot of low-scoring ball games, setting a nice tone for the prospects who would come up later.

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