Brett Jackson Is Ready, but the Cubs Are Not
Chicago Cubs top prospect Brett Jackson is ready to be promoted to the Major League level. Cubs’ fans have been waiting to hear that sentence since the 2011 season. The initial thought was that Jackson would have made his Major League debut with Cubs last season, but an wrist injury suffered while with the Tennessee Smokies derailed any hope that Jackson had at making his Major League debut with the Cubs last season. There is no question that Jackson is going to make his Major League debut in 2012 with the Cubs. The Cubs’ prospect has impressed manager Dale Sveum to the point where Sveum believes Jackson is ready for the Major League level. But the Cubs’ management team is coming to quick realization that the Cubs as currently constructed are not ready for Jackson.
Jackson has been up there with Alfonso Soriano and Joe Mather as the most impressive position players in camp with the Cubs this Spring. Jackson is hitting .353/.450/.647/1.097 with the Cubs this Spring in 17 at bats. Whether it is President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein, General Manager Jed Hoyer, or Sveum; Jackson has impressed everyone with how he conducts himself on and off the field. Sveum admitted that Jackson is ready for the Major Leagues, but he will start the season with the Iowa Cubs.
"While Sveum conceded Jackson is major-league ready, he reiterated there is no spot on the roster for him. Jackson will be sent to Triple-A Iowa to start the season.“I don’t see that opportunity, the way the roster is configured,” he said. “You don’t want the guy to sit on the bench. He needs to go play still. Unfortunately, there’s not really an opening right now for that to happen. You’ve still got to remember that developing is just as important as anything else. Chicago Tribune"
The fact of the matter is that the Cubs have Soriano, Marlon Bryd, and David DeJesus slotted as their starting outfielders. As much as we would all like to see Jackson unseat one of those three outfielders, the Cubs are not going to do that. Soriano is owed $54 million over the next three seasons, and even though it is not the right move, the Cubs are not going to put that much money own the bench on a consistent basis. While Soriano is off to an impressive start, it is important to remember that it is only Spring Training. Not team is going to bite on Soriano until the left fielder proves he can be productive offensively when the regular season starts. With the Cubs lineup liking as inept as it does, DeJesus and Byrd will likely be two the key components to the Cubs’ offensive success this season.
The 2012 season is about rebuilding and opening the gateway for the youth of the organization to make their to Wrigley Field, that time is going to come this season. But first, the Cubs have to prepare their roster for such a movement. They started by trading away Carlos Zambrano, and allowing Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Pena to walk in free agency. The next step will be to let a market develop for one of their starting outfielders, and trade him when the market for said player reaches it’s highest point. Once that happens, both Jackson and the Cubs will be ready for the top prospect to ascend to the Major League level.