Top prospect Brett Jackson will see more Team USA action
By Toni Ginnetti firstname.lastname@example.org September 6, 2011 11:00PM
Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco applies the tag to complete the strikeout of Aramis Ramirez to end the first inning as the Chicago Cubs host the Cincinnati Reds Tuesday September 6, 2011 at Wrigley Field. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times
Updated: November 9, 2011 12:02PM
Three more players from Class AAA Iowa are with the Cubs now, but top outfield prospect Brett Jackson isn’t among them. Jackson won’t be appearing this season, heading instead to play for Team USA in the Pan American Games in October in Mexico.
Jackson, 23, played with the national team last season. Part of the reason he wasn’t called up by the Cubs was to preserve his eligibility with the national team by keeping him off the 40-man roster.
‘‘That’s a good thing,’’ manager Mike Quade said. ‘‘His commitment to do that was part of it, and a good thing I think.’’
Some have projected Jackson joining the Cubs next season after hitting a combined .274 this year at Iowa and Class AA Tennessee with 20 home runs, 58 RBI and 21 steals.
‘‘That’s up to him,’’ Quade said of Jackson’s ability. ‘‘We never had that conversation about Tyler Colvin last year, and what he did off his spring training was enough. [Jackson] will get a good look in spring training next year, and he should because he’s earned it.’’
The three newest additions include outfielder Lou Montanez and infielder DJ LeMahieu, who both were with the team earlier this season. Left-handed pitcher John Gaub was called up for the first time.
Gaub, 26, was 4-4 with a 3.42 ERA in 50 relief appearances at Iowa, striking out 75 in 551/3 innings.
‘‘I had a much better year this year than last year. I struggled last year and had an injury,’’ said Gaub, who was acquired from Cleveland in December 2008 in the Mark DeRosa deal. ‘‘This year I was consistent all year. They see something in me and gave me a chance. Hopefully I can get some opportunities [to pitch] and show something.’’
Class AAA catcher Welington Castillo visited the team Tuesday, but in civilian clothing. He suffered a hamstring injury and was placed on Iowa’s disabled list Aug. 30. Quade would like a third catcher behind Geovany Soto and Koyie Hill, but that may not happen. A catcher from Tennessee might be recalled when the Smokies finish their playoffs.
Back and forth
The Cubs have 34 come-from-behind victories, 11 more than last season and the eighth-most in the majors. But they also lead the majors with 40 losses in games they led at some point.
The big picture
The annual team photo was taken Tuesday, one with players only and another with players and staff. Changes will bring a new look next season.
‘‘It’s just the annual picture day,’’ Quade said. ‘‘That’s about 30-some for me.’’