4/28 Live from Des Moines

It’s 52 degrees in Des Moines for the start of the Iowa Cubs game Saturday night against the Nashville Sounds at Principal Park, and a chance to see Brett Jackson, Anthony Rizzo. Jackson entered the game batting .241 in 20 games with 25 strikeouts. He notched No. 26 in the first inning. Talking to scouts before the game, they all agree both Jackson and Rizzo need more time.

“Brett Jackson is like everybody else here,” Iowa manager Dave Bialas said. “They’re working to try to get to the next level and get to the big leagues. There’s a reason they’re all here. Brett, he works hard, plays all the time. Never have to say anything to him. He’s hit a lot of balls hard. You see the numbers but he’s hit a lot of balls hard at people. His average is deceiving. He’s swung the bat well. His defensive play has been good.”

What about the high strikeouts?

“He knows he needs to cut his strikeouts down,” Bialas said. “The two-strike approach needs to improve. That’s normal. It’s that way with a lot of Minor League players.”

Rizzo was batting .380 with seven homers and 21 RBIs. Nashville used a defensive shift against Rizzo in the second, and he surprised them with a bunt single. He’s also impressed scouts and the Iowa staff with how hard he works on defense. Rizzo has a routine he sticks to, and many feel he could be a Gold Glove winner someday. But right now, Bryan LaHair is doing well at first, so Rizzo knows there isn’t a spot for him. He and LaHair talked about being in the same lineup.

“I’d catch if I had to,” Rizzo said about getting to the show. “I’d pitch, too.”

How much do the Minor Leaguers think about the big leagues? The players got an update on the Cubs catching situation — Welington Castillo was called up, Steve Clevenger on the DL, and Geovany Soto scratched — and Blake Lalli, Iowa’s catcher, said don’t be surprised if he has to leave Saturday’s game if needed in Philadelphia.

– Carrie Muskat

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