With David DeJesus out, Brett Jackson not even considered
By GORDON WITTENMYER firstname.lastname@example.org June 15, 2013 11:44PM
Updated: July 17, 2013 7:21AM
NEW YORK — So what’s the deal with Brett Jackson?
The Cubs are looking for an outfielder from Class AAA in the wake of David DeJesus’ injury, and Jackson is nowhere in the conversation.
“He’s down there to develop,” manager Dale Sveum said. “We still need to see more consistency . . . instead of the day-to-day thing, like good, bad, good, bad.”
Jackson, who hit .175 with 58 strikeouts in a 120-at-bat debut last summer, had his swing overhauled by Sveum and the staff over the winter, and his strikeout rate is down this year.
But all his production numbers are down — .232 average (from .256 at Class AAA last year), .389 slugging (.479) and .703 OPS (.817).
As he approaches his 25th birthday in seven weeks, Jackson is at a critical crossroads as a prospect in a professional career that began as a first-round draft pick in 2009.
“Nobody can predict that,” Sveum said of the development timeline of some guys, even prospects with the speed-power skill set Jackson has. “Sometimes you never know. It could be the 29-year-old. It could be tomorrow.”
The Cubs filled their short-term roster hole with reliever Shawn Camp, who was activated from the disabled list after two rehab games at Class A Kane County. Sveum said Camp, who went on the DL with a sprained big toe after struggling for weeks, has shown an increase in velocity during his rehab assignment.
◆ Sometime in the upcoming week, the Cubs plan to replace one of the bullpen guys with an outfielder to get their bench back up to full strength, with Dave Sappelt the likeliest candidate.
◆ Sveum said he’s confident enough in the hitting ability of Travis Wood and Scott Feldman to use them as pinch hitters while his bench is short. Feldman drove in two runs with a two-out single Saturday.
◆ Cubs draft pick Kris Bryant has been honored with the Dick Howser Trophy as college baseball’s player of the year.