Should the Cubs be concerned with Brett Jackson's strikeouts?


Should the Cubs be concerned with Brett Jackson's strikeouts?

With the Cubs off to a poor start, many fans are clamoring for top prospect Brett Jackson to make his debut with the big-league club.

However, the 23-year-old outfielder is struggling to make contact down at Triple-A Iowa.

Jackson has 20 strikeouts in 55 at-bats over 13 games. That's a whiff in 36 percent of his at-bats.

So should the Cubs be concerned about this alarming rate?

BaseballAmerica's Jim Callis doesn't think so.

"Nobody should panic about anything this early in the season unless it's injury-related," Callis said in a chat Wednesday. "Jackson is always going to strike out -- he fanned 138 times last year -- but he's not going to 'K' in 40 percent of his ABs. He's going to be a solid player for the Cubs."

Phew, that's good news.

Plus, Jackson is still quite productive despite the K's down in Triple-A. He has nine walks and nine extra-base hits, which has helped produce a .930 OPS (on-base plus slugging). He also has two stolen bases already.

Blackhawks acquire Michael Latta from Kings in swap of minor leaguers

Blackhawks acquire Michael Latta from Kings in swap of minor leaguers

The Blackhawks made a minor league deal on Saturday, announcing the acquisition of forward Michael Latta from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for defenseman Cameron Schilling.

Latta, 25, has two goals and four assists in 29 games this season with the Ontario (Calif.) Reign of the American Hockey League.

He has four goals and 13 assists in 113 career games in the National Hockey League, all with the Washington Capitals from 2013-16.

Latta, who was a third-round pick (No. 72 overall) by the Nashville Predators in 2009, will report to the AHL's Rockford IceHogs. He carries a $600,000 cap hit, and is a restricted free agent at the end of the season.

Schilling ranked second among defensemen on the IceHogs with 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) in 40 games, and had a minus-3 rating. The 28-year-old blue liner signed a two-year contract worth $575,000 per season with the Blackhawks in July 2015.

Sunday on CSN: UIC travels to Valparaiso


Sunday on CSN: UIC travels to Valparaiso

Horizon League basketball returns to CSN on Sunday as UIC travels to Valparaiso. This game tips at 2:00 p.m. live on CSN.

The Flames (11-8, 4-2) have won three straight games and have played pretty good ball after the loss of Dikembe Dixson to a torn ACL. Junior big man Tai Odiase, a Homewood-Flossmoor graduate, is playing well along with former St. Rita product Dominique Matthews.

Valparaiso (15-4, 5-1) is hoping to maintain its conference lead behind senior All-American candidate Alec Peters. The 6-foot-9 senior is averaging 23.9 points and 10.9 rebounds per game on the season.

The Crusaders won the first time these two teams played at UIC on Dec. 30 as Tevonn Walker had 23 points.