The Cubbies Crib Line of the Week this week was easy. When the best positional prospect in the system has a fantastic week at Triple A, he has to be the guy. This week, Brett Jackson is the guy. His four home-run, six RBI performance came in a week in which he had his usual healthy ratio of strikeouts to walks.
There is only one thing that makes giving this week’s Line of the Week to Jackson somewhat tainted. This is the minor league line of the week. At this point in the season, why is Brett Jackson still eligible?
Perhaps we should be grateful that Jackson is still in the minors since Mike Quade apparently has a severe allergic reaction to playing rookies at any position other than second base, and Brett Jackson would probably not make a very good second baseman.
But September is right around the corner. Surely he’ll be with Chicago in September, right?
Don’t count on it. I think he should be, but there are two big things working against him. First of all, anyone in the Cubs front office has to realize that putting rookies not named Darwin Barney on a Mike Quade managed team is about as useful as putting those rookies on a cruise to New Zealand. I suspect the Cubs front office has realized that, and that’s why Casey Coleman and Jay Jackson are not currently playing in Chicago. Then again, no one on the Iowa roster will be playing in September anyway (not past the first few days that is), so why not send him to Chicago and let him experience the joys of being benched by Quade?
Because of the forty man roster, that’s why. Right now Jackson is not on it. He could be added to it, but he will be safe from the Rule 5 draft in December even if he is not on the 40 man roster. There are other players in the Cubs’ farm system that are not quite so secure. A spot given to Brett Jackson today is a spot that may not be available to protect another prospect in December. And if Jackson is not going to play much anyway, why would the Cubs waste a 40 man roster slot on him?
The answer could be that they are going to have 40 man roster slots to spare. I have not yet gone over the Cubs roster or farm system to look for potential holes on the 40 man or players who will need to be protected. The math might be in Jackson’s favor. We will take a closer look at that after the season.
But whether Jackson gets to play in Chicago, gets called up to ride the bench, or is left in the minors by roster mathematics, rest assured he is ready to go. He will come into the spring training being given every opportunity to win a job, and I think there is an excellent chance he breaks camp as the Cubs starting left or center fielder.