MESA, Ariz. – Brett Jackson could be one phone call away.
Decision time is coming soon at Cubs camp, where top prospects Javier Baez and Jorge Soler will be moving down the street to Fitch Park after this weekend’s split-squad games. The big-league team will start coming into sharper focus.
Since the end of last season, Cubs executives made it clear that they were building the Opening Day roster without Jackson and sending the 2009 first-round pick to Triple-A Iowa. But any plans are on hold after an MRI showed inflammation in his right shoulder that could sideline him for about a week.
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“I’m not too concerned,” Jackson said Saturday at HoHoKam Stadium. “Just being cautious – no need to push it. It just came up from throwing. It doesn’t bother me swinging. (It’s) kind of a pain throwing, but it shouldn’t be an issue.
“(We) want to make sure that I’m 100 percent going into the season and not have something that’s going to linger.”
Jackson’s new swing has gotten good reviews this spring after he struck out 59 times in 142 plate appearances at the big-league level last season. So far he’s gone 5-for-16 (.313) with five walks and five strikeouts in the Cactus League.
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The Cubs have four outfield locks – Alfonso Soriano, David DeJesus, Nate Schierholtz and Scott Hairston. Dave Sappelt, Darnell McDonald and Brian Bogusevic are battling for the fifth spot.
If Jackson performs in Des Moines, he could be the next man up in a trade/injury scenario or as a midseason replacement if he kills it in the Pacific Coast League the way Anthony Rizzo did last season. Those are possibilities that he doesn’t want to talk about right now.
“I’m going to keep working every day,” Jackson said. “Obviously, No. 1 is to get 100 percent healthy again. I’m confident that we’re going to take care of that quickly. And then when I’m back, we’ll focus on what’s next.”