The Daily CCO: Cubs Might Move Edwin Jackson to the Bullpen and Other News

Edwin Jackson had another bad outing Wednesday and according to multiple reports he could have lost his spot in the rotation for the remainder of the season.

Jackson lasted just 2 2/3 innings, his shortest start of the year, and while he did not make any excuses for another poor outing, according to the Sun-Times “he left open the possibility some of his struggles could be physical.” Jackson told the beat writers that “no one is going to be 100 percent healthy all the time.”

When asked about Jackson’s role moving forward, Rick Renteria repeated the team would “assess and evaluate and see where we go.”

Edwin Jackson admitted he would not be happy about losing his spot in the rotation and moving to the bullpen, but also stated if he would have pitched better he would not be in this position.

PrintAs the Sun-Times pointed out, the Cubs could place Edwin Jackson on the DL if he is hurt.

The Cubs were looking for a way to get extended looks at Felix Doubront, Jacob Turner and Dan Straily in starting roles down the stretch and moving Edwin Jackson to a mop-up role in the bullpen would give the front office and coaching staff flexibility with at least one of the rotation spots.

Cubs-Giants Rain-Shortened, Suspended Game

The Giants protested Tuesday’s rain-shortened game and Major League Baseball ruled in the Giants favor. The Cubs and Giants will resume Tuesday’s rain-shortened game Thursday afternoon beginning at 4:05pm CDT. Jacob Turner will take the hill in the top of the sixth for the Cubs and will have at least a 2-0 lead.

The regularly scheduled game is still slated for a 7:05pm CDT first pitch with Travis Wood facing Madison Bumgarner in the series and season-series finale with the Giants.

Jed Hoyer addressed the media after the announcement and according to Comcast SportsNet, Hoyer thinks Major League Baseball made the right decision.

Felix Doubront

The Cubs announced Wednesday that Felix Doubront would make one more rehab start before being added to the active roster. Doubront’s next outing will be for Double-A Tennessee after making two starts for Iowa.

Doubront was 0-1 in two starts with the Iowa Cubs. In 10 innings, Doubront allowed six runs, all earned, on 12 hits with three walks and 11 strikeouts (5.40 ERA, 1.50 WHIP).

Felix Doubront will start one of the two games in St. Louis on Aug. 30 in what will be his Cubs debut.

Neil Ramirez

According to a report from Bruce Levine, the Cubs are not sure right now if Neil Ramirez could be the team’s future closer or if he could fill a spot in the rotation down the line.

The Cubs have never shut the door on Ramirez returning to a starting role. And Ramirez is one of the pitchers the front office and coaching staff is keeping an eye on his workload over the final five-plus weeks of the season.

Levine asked Rick Renteria about the possibility of Ramirez starting games again. Renteria admitted Ramirez probably has starter stuff and he has the stuff to be a closer in the big leagues as well.

Neil Ramirez said he enjoys both roles and pointed out that he has four pitches. He is not using his change-up out of the bullpen. Ramirez credited Chris Bosio with teaching him the urgency of making a good pitch. Ramirez admitted he might have taken pitches off in the past when he was a starter, a mistake he will not make moving forward.

Rusney Castillo

Rusney Castillo is expected to make a decision and sign with a team by the weekend. The Cubs are involved in the process for Castillo, and depending on the report, the Cubs are either the favorite to sign him or out of the bidding entirely.

Jayson Stark reported Wednesday afternoon that teams in the mix for Castillo believe he will sign a five-year contract in the $50-60 million range.

According to a report from Patrick Mooney late Wednesday night, the Cubs could be out of the running for Rusney Castillo and if they are not “there’s definitely a growing sense the Cuban outfielder will go to a higher bidder.”

News and Notes

Matt Szczur feels like he could be a big piece of the Cubs puzzle according to a report from Comcast SportsNet.

According to a report from Peter Gammons, there is a “concern some teams have about calcium Cubans get in their diets.” Gammons pointed out that both Jorge Soler and Jose Iglesias have been sidelined by stress fractures and one club official told him, “Any Cuban player we sign in the future will have his bone structure and diet closely monitored. We worry about milk and all calcium intake.”

The sixth spot in the lineup does not suit Arismendy Alcantara according to a report from ESPN Chicago.

Minor News and Notes

Josh Vitters left Wednesday night’s game with an injury. According to the game report, Vitters led off the top of the sixth inning with a single down the left field line and was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double. Vitters injured his right ring finger reaching back for second base following what was reported as a awkward slide.

Addison Russell hit a two-run homer Wednesday night, his 11th with the Smokies. Russell has hit a home run in three straight games for the first time in his career.

Carson Sands and Justin Steele keep making good impressions in Arizona. Carson Sands threw his fast ball in the low 90s Tuesday (92 mph) with a nice curveball. Justin Steele’s fastball sat at 90 mph Tuesday and he ran it up to 93 mph. Sands is 3-0 in eight games, three starts, with a 0.56 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. In 16 innings, Sands has walked six batters with 16 strikeouts. Steele does not have a record in eight games, four starts, but has a 2.20 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP. In 16 1/3 innings, Steele has struck out 21 batters with five walks.

Junior Lake is 5-for-14 in three games with Iowa with a walk, three strikeouts and a RBI.

Chadd Krist signed with the Marlins and made his debut in Miami’s system Tuesday night.

Jake Stinnett made his first start with Boise Wednesday night. Stinnett tossed 2 2/3 innings of scoreless ball and did not allow a hit while walking a batter and striking out four.

This Day In Cubstory

August 21

1999 – Sammy Sosa became the fourth player to hit 50 or more home runs in consecutive seasons. Sosa joined Babe Ruth, Mark McGwire and Ken Griffey Jr.

1989 – Jerome Walton went 0-for-4 in a 6-5, 10-inning loss to the Reds and snapped his 30-game hitting streak.

1987 – Andre Dawson hit his 39th and 40th home runs of the season and Lee Smith picked up his 30th save in the Cubs 7-5 win over the Astros.

1978 – Jason Marquis, born

1975 – Rick and Paul Reuschel combined on baseball’s first all-brother shutout as the Cubs beat the Dodgers 7-0 at Wrigley Field

1968 – Tuffy Rhodes, born

1965 – Jim Bullinger, born

1935 – After losing the first game of a doubleheader, 13-12, the Cubs scored 12 runs in the 6th inning of the second game and beat the Phillies 19-5 in Philadelphia. Phil Cavarretta and Frank Demaree collecte five hits in the second game after Cavarretta recorded two and Demaree three in the first game. Chuck Klein scored eight runs in the doubleheader, three in game one and five in game two.

1929 – Charlie Grimm was sidelined for the remainder of the regular season with a hand injury. Grimm returned for the World Series

1898 – Walter Thornton threw a no-hitter and beat the Dodgers 2-0 in the second game of a doubleheader at West Side Grounds.

1881 – With his team already ahead 5-0 in the eighth inning, Abner Dalrymple became the first player to be intentionally walked with the bases loaded in the history of the game.

August 20

2006 – Cubs traded Neifi Perez to the Tigers for Chris Robinson

1996 – In an 8-1 win over the Marlins, Sammy Sosa recorded the 100th RBI of his season when he was hit by Mark Hutton in the first inning with the bases loaded. The pitch broke Sosa’s wrist and he missed the rest of the season … and his injury ended his streak of 304 consecutive games played.

1985 – Blake DeWitt, born

1967 – Mets purchased Bill Connors from the Cubs

1963 – Kal Daniels, born

1961 – The Cubs and Pirates tied a National League record by playing their third straight extra-innings game. The Cubs won 1-0 and won two of the three games.

1958 – With Sammy Taylor out for a pinch-hitter, Moe Thacker in the hospital and Cal Neeman having been ejected, Dale Long became the first left handed catcher in Cubs history. Long wore his first baseman’s glove behind the plate in the first game of a doubleheader with the Pirates. Cubs lost the first game, 4-2, won the second game, 5-1 at Wrigley Field.

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  • John_CC

    I’m excited for Turner’s “start” today. It’s smart use of him, he could easily finish off that game.

    Great to hear about the two young pitchers. It’s a long road way to the top (if you wanna rock-n-roll), but they are looking pretty good so far.

    The Olt and now Lake are hitting it really goes to show the huge leap between AAA and the show. It’s a good reality check for all of us waiting until the prospects just get promoted so they can become All Stars.

    • stu_studdly

      It also shows how much talent Starlin has to make the jump from AA to the show and be successful.

      • John_CC


  • Sonate

    Jackson to the pen. YEA!!!!!!

    • salukihawk

      Hopefully it’s the pig pen, not the bullpen. Sigh.

      • jtrain23

        I’m digging the Salukihawk. I would assume it is to do with Southern Illinois and Iowa, but I am curious about the story behind it. I am an SIU alum so it caught my eye.

  • The Dude Abides

    Theo needs to hang a poster of EJAX in his office so he can
    make sure the next time he’s getting a stud pitcher and not try to give
    stability to a journeymen on the hope it turns around his well-documented

  • John_CC
    • Ripsnorter1

      Great article. And should be considered by all Cubs’ fans.

    • Tom U

      It kind of echoes what I have said for a long time: the minors are where you want to find out what a player CAN do, not what a player WANTS to do.

    • Tony_H

      He gives good reasons to not rush prospects. Minor league AB’s are important.

      • cubtex

        not really true. It is a huge jump from AAA to the majors. Just to give a player junk AB’s in AAA against AAA pitching won’t expose themselves to the huge difference in what they will face day in and day out.

        Taveras- 1860 minor league PA
        Bogaerts- 1623 minor league PA
        Trout- 1312 minor league PA

        Kris Bryant has 687 minor league PA. When is the right time to bring him up? Will it do any good to give him another 1000 minor league PA?

        • Ripsnorter1

          And don’t forget to mention Bryan LaHair. How many MiL ABs did he get?

          • cubtex

            haha. If a prospect kills it at every level he is exposed at… is still a huge jump any way you slice it. What I was trying to point out….there is no magic formula. There is no “proper amount of minor league ab’s” There is no “right age” It is an educated guess by the FO. With most prospects struggling at first…I agree what the Cubs did with Baez. Get him up now and let him struggle and adjust.
            That is why this rebuild will take so long unless they trade some for veteran presence. The prospects will struggle at first and some will figure it out…..but also some won’t.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Did you hear Dayton Moore quote (KC GM): “It takes 3 years for a MiL player to adjust to MLB.”

          • Tony_H

            As with everything, this doesn’t mean every player, but the normal prospect gets to what type of player they are in YEAR 3. I think I have been saying this for a long, long time.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Baez’s struggles, along with Alcantara, show that it takes some time for most. And the Cubs are not likely to win the pennant in 2015.

          • cubtex

            Gammons mentioned the Royals and trading Wil Myers for Shields. Do you think they regret that trade one bit right now? Not a chance. They are 70-55 in 1st place and should make the playoffs for the first time in a long time. Meanwhile, Myers has not come close to being the “1” prospect and all the hype he had.

          • Ripsnorter1

            It’s a fact: I do not regret trading Archer, Le, et al for Garza. Archer has done well, but the rest are 26th men on ML rosters.

            Jim Adducci, former Cub, now Texas Ranger, is 2 for his last 58, and 18 for his last 142.

            Robinson Chirinos: 58 for 250.

          • cubtex

            no. the Garza deal was a very good deal for the Cubs. I don’t think that is a question at all anymore.

          • John_CC

            Particularly considering what Garza returned to the Cubs.

          • John_CC

            That was the point Gammons was making when he brought up the trade.

          • John_CC

            That’s a red herring.

        • Tony_H

          Not really true, but actually true :)

          That is why there is no one way to develop and expose prospects to the majors. Every player is an individual that needs their own path.

          I really don’t think AB’s in AAA are junk. But the difference between AAA and the majors is a big jump. The FO’s 500 AB’s in AAA is probably the right amount for a minimum though.

          Bryant will be just about right at the end of April 2015. One last month of AAA should be just the right amount of seasoning.

    • Sonate

      Thanks for the link. Gammons indicates that “Brock Holt has the 2nd highest OPS in baseball as a rookie.” Interestingly, Brock Holt is also two years older than Starlin Castro is right now.

  • Joey Rizzo

    “might’ shouldn’t be even a option. This should have been done months ago

  • jtrain23

    Notice that the talk of physical issues are coming up as well. Timing is everything and it is not surprising that a possible injury is being discussed at the same time that he is possibly being moved to the pen and the Cubs are looking to give other guys a chance.

    A move to the DL would free up a spot for guys like Doubront or Straily. Then they could actually stay with the team even on days they are not pitching. I have to think that would be more beneficial than making one start then being on a plane for Iowa the next day. They could get to know the guys and get comfortable with the team.

    Obviously this will not be an issue when rosters expand, but it would create an opening until then.

  • Rick Barkan

    Kind of got my wish. Jackson on the DL hopefully for the rest of the season

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  • mutantbeast

    The only places Id feel comfortable getting rid of Edwin the Burro are the Sahara desert or the Amazon rainforest.

    • Neil

      Please refrain from name calling on this site. I appreciate you following the commenting policy of the site. Thank you.

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