Jackson could be next Cubs call-up

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Jackson could be next Cubs call-up

The day after the trade deadline signaled a clear shift in focus for the Cubs. After trying to showcase their players to contending teams, the next two months will be auditions for 2013.
If the Cubs are looking for a jolt of energy after trading away several popular veterans, Brett Jackson is waiting at Triple-A Iowa. The front office and the coaching staff are already thinking about it.
There were discussions leading up to Tuesdays deadline. There were meetings scheduled for after Wednesdays 8-4 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field, and during Thursdays off-day in Los Angeles.
That happens to be Jacksons 24th birthday. The sense is that the Cubs are trying to accelerate the process of figuring out what they have really got in the 2009 first-round pick out of Cal-Berkeley.
I dont know if there is any so-called risk involved in it, manager Dale Sveum said. Everybodys always worried about the failure part instead of the guy coming up here and maybe being a better player in the big leagues than he is in the minor leagues.
Its stuff worth thinking about. Its something were really dwelling over right now what were going to do the next month before the September call-ups.
Jackson is an athletic outfielder who began the day hitting .253 with 15 homers, 25 stolen bases and an .814 OPS and 152 strikeouts in 391 at-bats.
Everyone looks at that big number, but Jackson fits Theo Epsteins vision of a well-rounded player who may not be spectacular in one area but still makes contributions across the board.
The Cubs president says you shouldnt fixate on the strikeouts and overlook Jacksons overall game.
With Jackson, the question becomes now primarily (about) his development, Epstein said, and what buttons we can maybe push to help get him to that next level, as far as that one issue that still faces him as a player.
Epstein mentioned the individual player plans every prospect in the organization received this season. There are boxes to check before being promoted as well as a loophole.
There are other instances where youre actually looking for a change of scenery, Epstein said. Youre looking for some sort of change to actually trigger further development. So theres no hard-and-fast rule for every players promotion.
Jackson turned it on last season after being promoted from Double-A Tennessee and actually put up better numbers at a higher level. People throughout the organization have noticed his sense of confidence and how he acts like he belongs.
The strikeouts are a problem, Sveum said, but on the other hand sometimes players just get to the big leagues and they hit better. You cant even explain it.
Hanley Ramirez I remember when we had him in Boston. He never put up any minor-league numbers and the next year hes in the big leagues and he wins Rookie of the Year.
Some guys struggle with the third deck in the stadium and other guys perform a lot better with the third deck. Its (difficult) predicting how guys are going to handle this kind of atmosphere."
Ramirez must be some sort of urban legend around the Red Sox. Because while Kevin Millar was trying to earn a roster spot with the Cubs in 2010, he was asked about Ramirez at a time when Starlin Castro was opening eyes in spring training.
The funny thing about Hanley is he didnt put up great offensive numbers (in) Double-A, Millar said then. He stepped up to the big leagues and then turned into a beast.
At the big-league level as weird as it sounds it becomes easier. When I say that, you get the better equipment, the better field, better lights.
Certain kids (get) better at the big-league level, and Hanley Ramirez was that guy.
In 2005, Ramirez hit .271 with six home runs and 52 RBI in 122 games for the Portland Sea Dogs. He exploded after being traded to the Florida Marlins in the Josh Beckett deal, which was engineered in part by future Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer.
Ramirez had that breakout season in 2006, batting .292 with 17 homers, 59 RBI, 51 stolen bases and 119 runs scored in 158 games.
No ones saying that Jackson is going to duplicate that performance. But it sounds like the Cubs are talking themselves into letting him take a shot.

David Ross helps Cubs edge Cardinals in regular season home finale

David Ross helps Cubs edge Cardinals in regular season home finale

CHICAGO (AP) -- David Ross homered and teamed with Jon Lester for another scoreless performance, and the Chicago Cubs hurt St. Louis' wild-card chances with 3-1 victory over the Cardinals on Sunday night.

Ben Zobrist had three hits and scored two runs as Chicago finished with a major league-best 57-24 home record. It's the most home wins for the Cubs since they went 58-19 at the West Side Grounds in 1910.

The Cardinals lost for the third time in four games, wasting a chance to improve their playoff positioning. They remain a half-game back of San Francisco for the second NL wild card.

Lester (19-4), one of the top candidates for the NL Cy Young Award, struck out seven in 6 2/3 innings. The left-hander allowed three hits and walked one while improving to 10-0 with 1.34 ERA in his last 13 starts.

Carlos Martinez (15-9) allowed two runs and six hits in six innings.

Cubs, White Sox react to news of Jose Fernandez's death

Cubs, White Sox react to news of Jose Fernandez's death

The baseball world was rocked Sunday morning by the news that Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident at the age of 24.

"All of baseball is shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez," Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. "He was one of our game's great young stars who made a dramatic impact on and off the field since his debut in 2013. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, the Miami Marlins organization and all of the people he touched in his life."

Chicago baseball teams and players shared their own messages on Twitter after the news broke.

Born in Cuba, Fernandez had a long and dangerous journey defecting to the United States. Unsuccessful attempts to defects were followed by prison terms, and during his successful attempt, he rescued his mother from drowning after she fell overboard. He was only 15 years old at the time.

Fernandez, who won National League Rookie of the Year honors in 2013, was twice named an NL All Star, including this season. He had a sparkling 2.58 ERA in his four big league seasons. After dealing with injuries that limited him to 19 combined starts during the 2014 and 2015 seasons, Fernandez was stellar this season, posting a 2.86 ERA and striking out a whopping 253 batters in 182 1/3 innings.