12/4 Jackson making strides

Brett Jackson will be back in the Cubs’ starting outfield. The only question is when. Jackson spent a few days in Mesa, Ariz., with Cubs manager Dale Sveum, who said Tuesday the young outfielder has made “huge, huge strides” and completely overhauled his swing. Jackson, who batted .175 in 44 games with the Cubs after he was called up in early August, was projected to open the 2013 season at Triple-A Iowa.

“There’s no doubt that Brett Jackson could be part of the Cubs big league team next year,” Sveum said. “These kind of things are obviously all up to the individual now. We brought him up last season hoping he was going to do well but knowing we get to see him first-hand, where a week ago, he went out to Arizona, we were able to fix the things and be hands on,” Sveum said. “I think he’ll tell you it was a huge learning experience. Things obviously didn’t go well but he knows now that sometimes you have to hit that wall to know, ‘wow, I really have to make some huge adjustments to play at this level.'”

The Cubs are in the market for another outfielder, and would prefer a left-handed bat. Jackson could be that guy but needs to show he’s ready.

“I think he’s got a good base to work with the rest of the winter and going into Spring Training to understand the art of hitting, so to speak,” Sveum said. “Sometimes it gets lost and taught the wrong way.”

— Carrie Muskat

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