Cubs Notes: Lake, Shortstops, Jackson

The Cubs have demoted outfielder Junior Lake to Triple-A Iowa, according to the MLB.com transactions page. After a good rookie season as a 23-year-old in 2013, Lake has struggled badly this season, hitting .216/.243/.364 in 305 plate appearances. None of the outfielders who started for the Cubs in their Opening Day loss to the Pirates this season are still on their active roster — the Cubs have optioned Lake, traded Emilio Bonifacio to the Braves, and released Nate Schierholtz, lately going with some combination of Chris Coghlan, Arismendy Alcantara, Justin Ruggiano and Ryan Sweeney in the outfield. Here’s more from Chicago.

  • The Cubs are loaded with young shortstops, but GM Jed Hoyer says they don’t need to trade any of them, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Sun Times writes. Chicago has Starlin Castro, Javier Baez, Addison Russell and Alcantara, which means that the team could have to find new positions for as many as three of them if they want to keep them all. “I think we can be a better team for it in a lot of ways if we end up doing that,” says Hoyer. (Alcantara has already played shortstop only sparingly this season, spending time in second base and outfield instead.) The shortstop-starved Mets love the Cubs’ talent at that position, and Wittenmyer notes that they like Russell more than Castro.
  • Nearly two years into a four-year, $52MM deal, Edwin Jackson has been a bust so far, Wittenmyer writes. This season, Jackson has a 5.74 ERA in 136 1/3 innings, although his reasonable 8.0 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 suggest he’s been at least somewhat better than his ERA indicates. Jackson is still just 30 and has good stuff, so his struggles in Chicago have been a disappointment. “I think it’s his location,” Hoyer says. “When he pitches up in the zone he gets hit, and the times he’s been able to stay down in the zone and locate his fastball away, he’s had some success.” Given that Jackson still throws hard and has two years left on his contract, the Cubs are likely to continue to give him chances to reemerge.


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80 Comments on "Cubs Notes: Lake, Shortstops, Jackson"


Member
10 months 21 days ago

There’s no real point in doing anything about Jackson. They’re not contending, nobody wants him, and they don’t really have an obvious replacement so what would be the point?

Member
cubsfan97
10 months 21 days ago

They dont need an obvious replacement. We have Straily, Turner and Dubront to try out and see if something with one of them clicks. Bosio is really good at working with pitchers, Id rather see Jackson lose his starting job and trot those 3 out with Wood, Arrietta and Hendricks and see what sticks. We have 8 starting pitchers right now and only one of them is all but guaranteed to not be a part of our future, and its Jackson. Wada, Hendricks, Arrietta, Dubront, Wood, Straily and Turner. Id rather see all 7 of them before Jackson.

Member
schaddy24
10 months 21 days ago

Eric Jokisch has been solid too. He’s eligible for the rule 5 draft so they might want to find a way to get him on the 40 man roster.

Member
tenncub
10 months 21 days ago

That’s easy to say when you’ve not seen Dubront or Straily at all and only a little of Turner. I’ll reserve judgement on that until the end of the season. We may have fewer realistic options than you’ve listed.

Member
cubs7691
10 months 21 days ago

The Mets like Russell more. Too bad they aren’t getting him lol

Member
bigbadjohnny
10 months 21 days ago

the Mets have nothing to offer.

Member
thenewyorkfan05
10 months 21 days ago

im pretty sure they have a lot for Russell its just they arent willing to give up what is required. They have many pitching prospects that the cubs need and Plawecki a cathcher that the cubs could use. To say they have nothing is false but to say they aren’t willing to give up what is required is true!

Member
bigbadjohnny
10 months 21 days ago

Some of the Mets top prospects, would not make the Cubs top 20 prospect list.

Member
MetsEventually
10 months 21 days ago

Really? 4-5 of them are on the top 100…

Member
itsNjMike
10 months 21 days ago

haha….i would argue 3 of them would crack their MAJOR league roster (Plawecki / Noah Syn / Montero). If you want to include Young Talent / recent call ups = TDA, Vic Black, DeGroam and Wheeler – that’s seven. Cubs future is definitely bright but lets not get crazy. they both better hope their prospects pan out.

Member
FromDuke2Joc
10 months 21 days ago

The Mets have way more and better young pitching. From Wheeler, DeGrom, Syndergaard, and Montero at the top to Ynoa, Fulmer, Verret at the bottom. I’m sure the Cubs would love some of NY pitching prospects who never seem to give up walks and are put through the fire in that hitters haven in LV.

Member
rkellerm
10 months 18 days ago

I can see the Mets getting Baez.. And I can see him becoming a second base version of Carlos Pena…

Member
Frank Richard
10 months 21 days ago

I’m a Cubs fan and even I can tell you the Mets have a lot to offer. They might be hurting their club more then helping it to deal for Castro or Russell, but they have what it would take.

Member
OriginalHitman
10 months 21 days ago

The team with the 4th best farm in baseball have nothing to offer? Say what?

Member
over101
10 months 17 days ago

Cubs fans have already purchased 2016 World Series Champs t-shirts.

Member
FromDuke2Joc
10 months 21 days ago

Cubs fans are funny they get a couple good prospects and now they think they’re knocking on the door of a World Series. Reminds me of how BoSox over value and hype their prospects. It must be the Theo effect.

Member
FromDuke2Joc
10 months 21 days ago

I actually think the cubs and mets will make a trade involving NY pitching and Chi SS. The mets have a surplus of young arms and Russell is not only the furthest away from the majors but I think he’s the least talented out of the above mentioned SS. I’ve never been as high as most on Russell.

Member
rkellerm
10 months 20 days ago

I agree, they both have an abundance on both sides….

Member
Franl Edwardo
10 months 21 days ago

Edwin Jackson has a perfect closer arm. Move him out there. Let him air it out for an inning or two at a time and don’t suffer through 5-6 innings of watching him try to figure out how to throw consistent strikes.

Member
longsack
10 months 21 days ago

I understand what you are saying and agree with you too a point. However letting him figure out how too throw strikes in the 9th with the game on the line is not an issue I want to see again (Marmol says hello?).

Member
cubsfan97
10 months 21 days ago

His 1st inning ERA the past 2 years is 7.96 this year, 5.81 last year. I think Ill pass on him in his first inning of work.

Member
Franl Edwardo
10 months 21 days ago

Conservation becomes a non issue and the guy just lets it all go with his two best pitches. This guy has a wicked slider and can throw gas. in the ninth, guys are on edge and swing at more balls than in any other inning. the guy would be great in the ninth

Member
sunshipballoons
10 months 19 days ago

Gas? He averages 92.7 MPG on FB this year. His average velocity has been steadily dropping for several years, despite a decrease in workload (IP and pitches thrown) over that time. Maybe getting out of the rotation would help with this, but I’m skeptical. Meanwhile, opponents are hitting .247 against his slider, which isn’t awful, but it’s not great either.

Member
DippityDoo
10 months 21 days ago

I’d put EJax in the bullpen for September, let him relax and not be trotted out there every fifth day to get pounded. Put all the new guys out there give them a chance to get some starts with the Cubs, and let EJax regroup and be ready for spring training to see what we have moving forward.

Member
bigbadjohnny
10 months 21 days ago

Years ago, Dennis Eckersley was a mess on the mound as a starting pitcher….then became a reliever…..and the rest as they say ….was history.

Member
TheoHoyer
10 months 21 days ago

I’d rather not have Edwin Jackson on the mound in low pressure situations, so using him as a 11 million/year reliever is out of the question.

P.s. – Dennis Eckersley absolutely tanked in the post season.

Member
Ray Ray
10 months 21 days ago

If EJax only tanks in the post season like Eck, then the Cubs would be the perfect team for him. He’ll never have to worry about pitching in the playoffs with them.