Results tagged ‘ Edwin Jackson ’
No one has to say anything to Travis Wood or Edwin Jackson. Both pitchers know how important this spring is.
Manager Joe Maddon said Monday that Kyle Hendricks had secured the No. 4 spot in the Cubs rotation behind Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta and Jason Hammel. That leaves Wood and Jackson vying for one opening along with Felix Doubront, Jacob Turner and Tsuyoshi Wada.
“Everybody understands what’s going on here,” Maddon said Monday. “There are no dummies.”
Maddon also is quick to point out that things change. A lot can happen between the start of Cactus League games Thursday and the end of camp.
“They’re very competitive and the fact we have a lot of folks for some really narrow choices, it’s going to be an interesting spring,” Maddon said. “I know that competition normally brings out the best in everyone.”
Wood, who will start Thursday against the Athletics in the Cactus League opener, compiled a 5.03 ERA in 31 starts last season after a 3.11 ERA in 32 starts in 2013. Jackson, who has a 5.58 ERA and 14-33 record in two seasons with the Cubs, will make his first spring start Monday against the Padres.
Maddon has been honest with the players about where they stand.
“The line I like is that, I’m not going to lie to you,” Maddon said. “If I tell you the truth, you might be upset with me for about a week or two but then you’re going to be OK. But if I lie to you, you’re going to hate me forever. If you shoot somebody between the eyes honestly, they might leave the room upset, they might slam the door, they might drive out of the parking lot quick, they might go home and hopefully not hit their dog. Eventually, they come back because you told them the truth. Every professional person I’ve ever been around really appreciates that.”
– Carrie Muskat
As of Tuesday, here’s the Cubs’ depth chart heading into the 2015 season:
First base: Anthony Rizzo, Mike Olt
Second base: Javier Baez, Arismendy Alcantara, Tommy La Stella
Shortstop: Starlin Castro, Javier Baez
Third base: Luis Valbuena, Mike Olt
Catcher: Miguel Montero, Welington Castillo, David Ross, Rafael Lopez
Left field: Chris Coghlan, Matt Szczur, Junior Lake
Center field: Arismendy Alcantara, Ryan Sweeney, Matt Szczur
Right field: Jorge Soler
Rotation: Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, Jason Hammel, Kyle Hendricks, Travis Wood, Tsuyoshi Wada, Jacob Turner, Felix Doubront
Bullpen: Hector Rondon, Jason Motte, Pedro Strop, Neil Ramirez, Blake Parker, Justin Grimm, Zac Rosscup, Dan Straily, Brian Schlitter, Edwin Jackson, Mike Kickham
* I’m listing Edwin Jackson in the bullpen because that’s where he finished 2014 but he’ll likely be stretched out and looked at as a starter in Spring Training.
– Carrie Muskat
It was tough to watch Edwin Jackson’s outings this past season. There’s a reason. Baseball statistician Bill Chuck pointed out that both Jackson and Travis Wood ranked among the leaders in what he calls a “lack of quality start.” A LQ start is when a pitcher throws no more than 5 2/3 innings and gives up three or more earned runs, according to Chuck. Fifteen pitchers made at least 10 LQ Starts in 2014. Jackson was tied for the lead with 13, going 2-8 in those games. He gave up 68 earned runs over 55 1/3 innings, serving up 88 hits, walking 30 and striking out 42. Wood had 10 LQ Starts. He was 0-9 in those games, giving up 50 earned runs over 43 1/3 innings. He served up 73 hits, walked 29 and struck out 39 in those games.
Chuck breaks down the stats even further. When a pitcher throws no more than 5 2/3 innings and gives up four or more earned runs, it’s what Chuck has dubbed a “bad start.” Jackson was second in MLB with 10 such starts, going 1-8 in those games. Justin Masterson was first with 12 “bad starts,” and was 0-7.
– Carrie Muskat
* Javier Baez went 4-for-41 with 20 strikeouts on the Cubs’ final homestand, and leads the Major Leagues in strikeouts this month. And Theo Epstein isn’t that surprised.
“It’s gone very much as expected,” Epstein said Friday of Baez’s first two months in the big leagues.
“His confidence is high,” Cubs manager Rick Renteria said of Baez. “Just like everyone, he understands he needs to make adjustments and knows he needs to do better.”
Renteria is quick to remind everyone that Baez is just 21 years old. Epstein said Baez is aware of what he needs to do, adding that sometimes it just takes an offseason to make those adjustments. Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro both did that after struggling in 2013; both had All-Star seasons this year. What’s encouraging, Epstein said, is that Baez is open to making adjustments.
“It’s like getting comfortable in the big leagues — you can’t just tell someone, ‘Get comfortable,'” Epstein said. “He readily admits he’ll be more comfortable in the big leagues than he is now. Sometimes you have to just experience it for yourself and the light goes on with one swing or one video session or one offseason when you can take a deep breath and come back differently.”
* Asked if Renteria will return to manage in 2015, Epstein said “absolutely.” However, there could be changes with the coaching staff. Epstein and Renteria said they expected to announce something Tuesday.
* Jacob Turner will start Sunday in place of rookie right-hander Kyle Hendricks, who is being shut down after reaching 183 innings. Hendricks totaled 102 2/3 innings in 17 starts at Triple-A Iowa, and 80 1/3 innings in 13 starts with the Cubs.
* Edwin Jackson has accepted the late season switch to the bullpen but Epstein said Friday the right-hander needs to come into next year and show he can be counted on. This year is the second year of Jackson’s four-year, $52 million deal, and it hasn’t gone that well. He led the National League in losses last season with 18, and is third this year.
“I think Edwin’s aware that he needs to turn his Cubs career around and work hard and show better form that he’s someone who can be counted on,” Epstein said Friday. “I think the default position is that given the competition we’re going to have, guys will have to need to pitch well to have a spot.”
– Carrie Muskat
Edwin Jackson will go to the bullpen, and rookie Eric Jokisch, lefty Tsuyoshi Wada and Kyle Hendricks will start the final three games of the Cubs season against the Brewers, beginning Friday.
Jackson (6-15, 6.38 ERA) has made one start since Aug. 20 and that was Friday when he lasted just two-thirds of an inning against the Dodgers. The right-hander, who was sidelined with a right lat strain, has made 30 relief appearances in his 292 games.
“He’s a professional, he knows where he stands,” Cubs manager Rick Renteria said Tuesday. “He says, ‘I see what’s happening, I get it.’ He’s been in this game a long time. He just wants to do his best for the club.”
Being a reliever may be an odd switch. Jackson, who led the National League in losses last season with 18, has a 10.46 ERA in the first inning of his starts this year, giving up 31 earned runs over 26 2/3 innings.
“It’s just a different scenario,” Renteria said. “It’s not necessarily a situation where he’s thinking about his start for three or four days. It’s more of a ‘Hey, we need you in this moment, get up, get loose and get in there.’ At least we have an opportunity in the next few days to see how he does and go from there.”
Jokisch has made three relief appearances since he was called up to the big league team in early September. The lefty was 9-10 with a 3.58 ERA in 26 games at Triple-A Iowa. Wada thought his season was done after Sept. 18 when he started against the Dodgers.
– Carrie Muskat
Arismendy Alcantara is back, Edwin Jackson is on the mound, and manager Rick Renteria has loaded up the lineup with right-handed hitters against Clayton Kershaw, who aims for his 20th win Friday. It’s Cubs vs. Dodgers. Here’s the lineup:
* Anthony Rizzo did not start Tuesday as part of the Cubs’ plan to ease him back into games while Arismendy Alcantara was sidelined with a sore right wrist injured when he crashed into the outfield wall Monday night. Alcantara’s status was day to day.
Rizzo, who had been sidelined since Aug. 26 because of a low back strain, made his first start in 18 games on Monday night
and hit a walk-off home run in the ninth. The Cubs had considered having Rizzo only play seven innings Monday since it was his first game action in 18 games, but went ahead and had him stay for nine. It worked.
“I would say I plan on giving him every other day [off] and will increase his playing time to two days in a row, maybe three,” Cubs manager Rick Renteria said. “I have to let it play itself out first.”
* Alcantara had an MRI on his right wrist and was wearing a brace on Tuesday. He slammed into the brick wall in right center catching Kristopher Negron’s ball in the eighth inning. The Reds had a runner on and two out, and there was no score in the game.
“Somebody was saying somebody forgot to tell him there’s a brick wall behind the ivy,” Renteria said of Alcantara. “That’s a game-saving play. He gave tremendous effort, [ran a] great line, very smooth, explosive action and got to it and was able to make the catch.”
It was an exceptional play for Alcantara who has primarily played in the infield.
“His immersion into center field was a pretty easy transition, in terms of chasing balls down, reading balls off the bat,” Renteria said. “He’s continued to learn where to throw the ball, how aggressive to be with certain plays. He’s continued to improve. That’s a testament to him because he’s taken on a lot.”
* Edwin Jackson, sidelined with a strained right lat, will make his first start since Aug. 20 on Friday when the Cubs play host to the Dodgers at Wrigley Field. Jackson threw an extended side session as a tune-up. Rookie Eric Jokisch will be available to piggyback because Jackson was not expected to go deep in the game.
– Carrie Muskat
The Cubs hope first baseman Anthony Rizzo can return to the lineup Monday after missing five days because of tightness in his lower back. Rizzo has not played since he was pulled from last Tuesday’s game in Cincinnati when his back tightned up during a rain delay.
“He’s still day to day,” Cubs manager Rick Renteria said Sunday. “He came in [Saturday] and wanted to play. We have to make sure we’re prudent and playing this smart. We’ll give him another day and when we get back, we’ll see how he’s doing.”
* Edwin Jackson threw a light bullpen session on Saturday, and the Cubs are continuing to monitor the right-hander’s progress. Jackson has been on the disabled list since Aug. 21 with a right lat strain.
“We’ll continue to monitor and see how he’s doing,” Renteria said. “We haven’t set any hard dates. We’ll see how he progresses and continue to make adjustments.”
* The Cubs have yet to sort out their six-man rotation. Felix Doubront, who picked up the win in his first start with the Cubs on Saturday, will be inserted into the mix for the final month. The Cubs have an off day Thursday, and have yet to announce who will start a three-game series against the Pirates, which opens on Friday at Wrigley Field.
* The Cubs will likely add one relief pitcher on Monday when rosters expand, then call up a few more players once Triple-A Iowa’s season is over. Iowa failed to make the playoffs, and will play its last regular season game Monday against Oklahoma City.
* It isn’t often that a visiting player catches a ceremonial first pitch, but Cubs hitting coach Bill Mueller did just that on Sunday. Mueller was behind the plate to catch a pitch from retiring DeSmet high school coach Greg Vitello. Vitello was Mueller’s coach, and is retiring after 35 years as the baseball coach.
– Carrie Muskat
Edwin Jackson says he could no longer pitch through the discomfort, and on Thursday, the Cubs pitcher was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right lat strain. It’s been a struggle this season for the right-hander, who lasted 2 2/3 innings on Wednesday against the Giants, giving up seven runs, to tall to 6-14 with a 6.09 ERA. He led the National League in losses last year, and was on pace to do so again.
“It’s been the last few starts and something I’ve tried to work through,” Jackson said Thursday. “I figured it was in the best interest of myself and the team as well to try not to fight through it any more before something major happens. It’s one of those things that you try to work through and it didn’t work out for me.”
Jackson ended the 2013 season with a similar injury, and was pulled from his final start against the Cardinals on Sept. 28 after 2 2/3 innings to end the year, 8-18 with a 4.98 ERA. Those aren’t exactly the type of numbers the Cubs envisioned when the signed him to a four-year, $52 million contract in December 2012. Jackson has two years remaining on that deal.
“I don’t think I’ve proven to the fans or the organization of Chicago what I can do, what I’m capable of doing,” Jackson said. “I still think I have a lot of upside and a lot to bring to the table. I just haven’t proved it.
“At the end of the day, you have to go out and do it on the field,” he said. “Regardless of what anyone says about confidence … I haven’t lost any confidence. When I take the field, I feel like I’m the best pitcher on the field and it just hasn’t shown. I feel I have a lot to prove to the organization and I still have a lot to prove to the fans of Chicago and I feel I owe them a lot being paid a lucrative contract. I still owe a lot to the team.”
Jackson said the injury will not force him to miss the rest of the season but there is no timetable for his return. He will simply take it day to day.
“He’s not a guy who complains,” manager Rick Renteria said. “I think he just tried to push his way through it. That’s him, that’s his makeup. Obviously, it’s just prudent for him not to keep pushing through it and we’ll make adjustments.”
Jackson’s next start was scheduled for Tuesday against the Reds, but who will start that game is still to be determined. Among the candidates are Jacob Turner or Dan Straily.
– Carrie Muskat
The Cubs placed shortstop Starlin Castro on the bereavement list and recalled Logan Watkins from Triple-A iowa. They also placed pitcher Edwin Jackson on the 15-day disabled list with a right lat strain. Zac Rosscup was called up from Iowa. No word on who will step into Jackson’s spot in the rotation.
– Carrie Muskat