3/8 Jackson’s fastball command

Edwin Jackson decided to only throw fastballs on Friday, and apparently didn’t tell Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio or manager Rick Renteria, who planned to chat with the pitcher to figure out what happened.

“He threw 50 pitches, 50 fastballs,” Renteria said Saturday. “He wanted to work on his fastball.”

Making his second spring start, Jackson gave up three runs on four hits in his three innings of work against the Indians.

“I think maybe, as we talk about fastball command, maybe he was thinking, ‘I’m going to try to hit the spots,'” Renteria said. “He got into a little trouble yesterday and he had some elevated pitches and some pulled pitches. I think you have to kind of allow some flexibility in what he’s trying to do. In his mind’s eye, he had a particular idea of what he wanted to do and he did it for three innings.”

Was Renteria surprised at Jackson’s game plan?

“I saw a lot of fastballs,” Renteria said. “I’ll just say that I noticed it.”

Jackson is in the second year of his four-year contract with the Cubs, and coming off a season in which he led the National League with 18 losses. Renteria didn’t seem bothered by the pitcher’s improvisation.

“I’ll probably talk to him and have a conversation and clarify what the process was,” Renteria said. “That doesn’t hurt.”

— Carrie Muskat


Seems some players have a mind of their own of what they will do in a game….not telling their manager or pitching coach of their game plan………….If Jackson loses another 18 games this year, he will not be on this club in 2015 no matter what.

First, they’re not going to judge Jackson or any pitcher based on the number of losses they have.
Second, Jackson will still be owed $26 million and be under contract for two more years after this one, so chances are he still will be on the team after this season, even if he repeats his 2013 performance. If they do want to trade him, then it will probably be a Soriano-type situation where they will have to take most of the money on the contract and he’ll have to have at least some value for another team to have interest in him.
Lastly, and this goes for all of your posts, it’s only the second week of Spring Training. There is no way you can draw any conclusions about how anyone’s going to be in 2014 this early on in the spring. Wait at least two more weeks when pitchers will have several starts/appearances and hitters will have 30+ at bats before you start to jump to conclusions about who will be on the team and how players will do this season!

One can tell how a team will perform for the season by the end of May……..players who are invited to ST, and players who are out of options, need to produce at every outing to get that MLB paycheck………Jackson been on seven teams in his career….there is a reason for that……he will see his 8th by August.

You have to look at spring training as a whole and not a game-by-game scramble. If a player who is on the fence goes 0 for 2 one day, you don’t say he’s off the team. And if a player not on the 40-man roster goes 2 for 2 one day, they aren’t bumped up the depth charts either. You have to look at the spring as a whole, which includes fielding, and how your team is already made up. For example, if you already have enough outfielders set to make the team, then even if Aaron Cunningham hits .400, he’s probably not going to make the 25-man roster unless there’s an injury. If you have an all right-hand hitting infield, chances are you are going to want at least one lefty on your bench. So if you have a righty trying to make the team on the bench hit .350 and a lefty in the same situation hit .250, there’s a good chance that the lefty will make the team ahead of the righty just because that’s who the team needs more. And finally, let’s not take spring training stats as a perfect indicator of how a player is going to perform. Remember a few years ago, Joe Mather looked like Albert Pujols in Spring Training. He played so well that he made the team. By the end of the season he hit just .209 and hasn’t played in the Majors since. So don’t take spring training stats as the be all end all for determining who is on the team and definitely don’t go game-by-game in modifying the 25-man roster for Opening Day.

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