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Sunday, August 05, 2012

Jackson, Vitters arrive [Baker traded to Tigers, Campana demoted]

Jeff Baker traded???  I guess it really is true, no one’s untouchable…

The future is now for the Cubs, who officially shifted their focus Sunday, promoting outfielder Brett Jackson and third baseman Josh Vitters, both No. 1 Draft picks, to the big league team from Triple-A Iowa.

Jackson, the No. 1 Draft pick in 2009 and ranked as the Cubs’ top prospect, was inserted into the lineup in the No. 2 spot Sunday against the Dodgers and finished 2-for-4 with a pair of singles and a run in the 7-6 loss. He’ll play 80 to 90 percent of the time, Cubs manager Dale Sveum said, with Vitters sharing third base with Luis Valbuena. A right-handed hitter, Vitters will most likely face left-handed pitchers.

Jackson was batting .256 with 15 home runs, 22 doubles, 12 triples, and 158 strikeouts in 106 games at Iowa. The strikeout totals are high, but Jackson, who fanned 50 times in June, trimmed that number to 36 in July, and has shown improvement…

Vitters, the top pick in the ‘07 Draft and the team’s No. 11 prospect, was hitting .304 with 17 home runs, 32 doubles and two triples in 110 games… The only questions have been about Vitters’ defense…

The Cubs were able to make the moves after trading utility infielder Jeff Baker to the Tigers [for two players to be named later]. Tony Campana was optioned to Iowa to make room.

The District Attorney Posted: August 05, 2012 at 10:54 PM | 20 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: brett jackson, cubs, jeff baker, josh vitters, minor leagues, tigers, transactions

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Mess with the Meat, you get the Wad! Posted: August 05, 2012 at 11:52 PM (#4201231)
Jacksons firat at bat shouldnt have ended the way it did. He fouled the ball off his foot, the ball went into play and he was thrown out at first with DeJesus advancing to second
   2. JJ1986 Posted: August 06, 2012 at 12:00 AM (#4201237)
Is DeJesus on his way out too? Otherwise the outfield is crowded.
   3. Mess with the Meat, you get the Wad! Posted: August 06, 2012 at 12:07 AM (#4201238)
Theres soriano dejesus lahair and jackson. Am i forgetting someone? Does mather really count
   4. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 06, 2012 at 12:08 AM (#4201240)

Theres soriano dejesus lahair and jackson. Am i forgetting someone? Does mather really count


Would any of these players be available for a trade?
   5. Kiko Sakata Posted: August 06, 2012 at 12:08 AM (#4201242)
Is DeJesus on his way out too?


He's under contract for two more seasons at a pretty reasonable price. I was a little surprised, but his name didn't come up at all in pre-trade deadline rumors. I think it's more likely that Soriano is on his way out. There was some talk that the Tigers were interested, and one reason given for why it didn't get done (or really get very far) is because it was taken for granted that Soriano will sail through waivers, so anybody willing to take him (with the Cubs eating a huge chunk of his remaining contract) can get him just as easily this month after he clears waivers (which I assume has already happened).

Also, I'll be pretty disappointed if Sveum goes with a strict platoon of Valbuena and Vitters. Valbuena's 26 years old with a career OPS+ of 71 (and a 64 this year). He is what he is, and that's not really a guy good enough to be a contributing regular on a playoff contender. Vitters may not be that either, but I'd rather give him the bulk of the playing time and see what he can do with it.
   6. Mess with the Meat, you get the Wad! Posted: August 06, 2012 at 12:14 AM (#4201247)
The end to the season should be interesting. If they move soriano I fully expect the team to be pretty much mostly minor leaguers. September doesnt count against service time for call ups right?
   7. Dale Sams Posted: August 06, 2012 at 12:57 AM (#4201269)
mmmmmmmmm...Shirley Manson....did you all say something?
   8. McCoy Posted: August 06, 2012 at 01:05 AM (#4201272)
That one game featuring Mather, Campana, and Baker in the OF might just have been the worst hitting OF for the Cubs in the 21st century.

Mather is a career 75 OPS+ guy currently at 70 OPS+ this season. Campana is a 64 OPS+ guy at 62 OPS+ this season. Baker is a 95 OPS+ guy at 102 OPS+ this season.

Though in that game they went 5-11 with a double, a HR, two steals, and a walk.
   9. Walt Davis Posted: August 06, 2012 at 01:22 AM (#4201274)
September doesnt count against service time for call ups right?

It counts.
   10. Greg K Posted: August 06, 2012 at 06:43 AM (#4201292)
This inspired a nice trip down memory lane

Garbage sure went to hell after Version 2.0 didn't they?
   11. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 06, 2012 at 08:41 AM (#4201320)
Campana is one of several players on the NL stolen base leaderboard who are among the absolute worst hitters in the league (Dee Gordon, Emilio Bonifacio, Jordan Schafer, Drew Stubbs).
   12. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: August 06, 2012 at 08:53 AM (#4201327)
Baseball mogul has tricked us all with the September service time thing
   13. JJ1986 Posted: August 06, 2012 at 09:08 AM (#4201337)
I think September doesn't count towards RoY-qualifying time.
   14. just plain joe Posted: August 06, 2012 at 09:17 AM (#4201342)
I think September doesn't count towards RoY-qualifying time.


It actually does count; you can have "X" days (I don't remember and don't have time to look it up) on an ML roster before you are no longer considered a rookie for RoY. It doesn't matter if this time is in September, July or April.
   15. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: August 06, 2012 at 09:20 AM (#4201343)
Does mather really count


Subtraction is a kind of counting.
   16. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 06, 2012 at 10:44 AM (#4201404)

Baseball mogul has tricked us all with the September service time thing


Okay, I was wondering why so many people seem to think its doesn't count.
   17. zonk Posted: August 06, 2012 at 11:30 AM (#4201443)
This is why OOTP kicks Mogul's ass...

Anyway - Baker is the very definition of a perfectly cromulent utility player. He can hit a little, he can play everywhere except SS, C, and CF. He's been a wee bit stretched on the Cubs because they've been forced to use him semi-regularly at times, but he's precisely the sort of utility IF you'd like to have around if your 3B starter spends a couple weeks on the DL with a tight hammy or something. I was extremely surprised that the Phillies didn't go after him this past spring when the Cubs were absolutely looking to deal him (he's sort of duplicative with DeWitt and Cardenas... and Valbuena, for that matter). I'm not expecting Castellanos back for him, but I would hope the lottery tickets are at least interesting.

I'm also a bit surprised that Soriano wasn't going to DET, too -- that deal was supposedly close before the deadline, but got put off to focus on the Dempster last minute stuff. Maybe that's still to come.

I also concur with Vitters playing at least semiregularly against RHP -- Valbuena isn't part of this teams future; it's time for people to let the 10 HRs he hit as a 23 yo go, it was almost 4 years ago, and he's pretty much proven that he really can't hit MLB pitching consistently. His main strength seems to be that he bats LH.

All in all, though, I hope I can get to a few games over the last couple months with the full complement of Castro, Rizzo, Jackson, and Vitters playing... I still don't have much hope that Vitters will have much of a career, but he has hit well at Iowa over the last 6 weeks or so, so I think he does deserve the shot at this point.
   18. Brian C Posted: August 06, 2012 at 12:03 PM (#4201471)
He's been a wee bit stretched on the Cubs because they've been forced to use him semi-regularly at times, but he's precisely the sort of utility IF you'd like to have around if your 3B starter spends a couple weeks on the DL with a tight hammy or something. I was extremely surprised that the Phillies didn't go after him this past spring when the Cubs were absolutely looking to deal him (he's sort of duplicative with DeWitt and Cardenas... and Valbuena, for that matter).

I don't think he's been "stretched" at all, on the contrary I think he's been put in exactly the role that he should be in - a utility guy who plays almost exclusively against LHP. Something like 2/3 of his PA have been against lefties this season. That's what he's there for.

The problem for me has been that he's gotten those PA almost exclusively in place of Bryan LaHair, who despite his recent struggles has still been more deserving of PA against lefties than either Stewart or Valbuena, who nonetheless have both been everyday players while they've been on the active roster. I don't really understand the reasoning there, but that's how it's been.

And because Baker hits righty, I don't think he's "duplicative" of Cardenas or Valbuena at all, who both hit lefty (so does DeWitt, although he's had a reverse platoon split his whole career). I'm actually not sure what purpose Cardenas serves at all on the active roster right now, frankly, since he hardly even figures to get Baker's playing time, on account of Cardenas's having no power and being a lefthanded bat. Maybe now he's the designated pinch-runner, although obviously Campana would have been much better suited for that role and he's been sent down.
   19. Starlin of the Slipstream (TRHN) Posted: August 06, 2012 at 12:15 PM (#4201484)
My guess was that Valbuena was put in the lineup as a defense first 3B to pump up the value of the pitchers. I remember him with the Indians as a good defensive 2B that could even play a bit of SS.
   20. Kiko Sakata Posted: August 06, 2012 at 01:03 PM (#4201517)
I'm actually not sure what purpose Cardenas serves at all on the active roster right now


Can Valbuena play shortstop? If not, Cardenas is on the roster as the only backup middle infielder (although even he's mostly a 2B; Barney's really the only backup SS, which is a bit troubling, given that Barney's the team's starting 2B). That said, I'd probably drop either Valbuena or Cardenas and bring back Campana. Campana shouldn't be a starter, obviously, but he has clear and useful skills to a major-league roster as a PR/bunter/defensive OF. (Also, I have an irrational soft spot for Campana because I was at the game where he hit his only career home run, which was the first Cubs win my son saw in person)

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