The Yankees, in the thick of a heated division battle with the Red Sox in the AL East, brought up top prospect Jesus Montero last week. The Braves, holding onto a 7.5 game lead in the NL wild card race, are starting top-prospect Julio Teheran on Thursday. And the Angels, trying to catch the first-place Rangers in the AL West, brought up, then 19-year-old, Mike Trout months ago. Montero hit two home runs Monday night to help the Yankees beat the Orioles 11-10 and hold on to the top spot in the AL East. Teheran is a 20-year-old righty who went 15-3 with 2.55 ERA and 1.19 WHIP for triple-A Gwinnett and could be used in relief for the playoffs. And Trout has been blistering since the Angels recalled him on August 19, hitting .406 with 11 runs, 4 HR, 8 RBI and a 1.316 OPS over 11 games.
These are all playoff teams that didn’t even need the services of rookies to help them with their push. But it’s September, the rosters expand, what’s the harm?
Meanwhile, on the North Side of Chicago, the ineptitude continues as owner Tom Ricketts has shown zero understanding of how to run an organization during his brief tenure. His latest stellar move was denying top prospect Brett Jackson a call up this season, opting to send their 2009 1st-round draft pick to go play for Team USA instead.
“He isn’t ready,” said player personnel director Oneri Fleita. Ricketts agreed, probably hearing Jackson’s name for the first time.
Yeah, he isn’t ready. Hitting .297 through 48 games at triple-A with 39 runs 13 2B/2 3B/10 HR/26 RBI/6 SB with a slash line of .388/.551/.939 is very unimpressive. Tyler Colvin’s line through 70 games of .143/ 6 HR/ 17 RBI and .200/.306/.506 is far more impressive and deserving of playing time.
Ricketts has said that starting his “Super 2” status has nothing to do with his decision, but what other reason can there be? The Cubs are the 6th worst team in baseball and will have a number of open roster spots next season, especially in the outfield where Alfonso Soriano is the only player assured of a spot, mostly due to his ridiculous salary.
Jackson is everything the Cubs have been lacking in a position player for years. He is a left-handed leadoff hitter who also plays a gold-glove caliber center field. He has speed, power and something rarely seen from a Cub- plate discipline. He has a .395 OBP over 296 minor league games. He does strikeout a bit too much (138K in 115 games this season), but if you’re going to make an out leading off a game, who cares if it is a strikeout or groundout.
So why not let him get his feet wet in an otherwise forgettable season? At 23, the kid has nothing to prove in the minors anymore, and the dirt dog would be an instant fan favorite while giving fans something to talk about this offseason. Other than the inevitable signing of Billy Beane as the new GM that is. (Blood boiling)
When you inform your GM that his services won’t be needed after the season, then let him run the draft and trade deadline, it shows you don’t have a clue. Then giving a four-year extension to your player personnel director before signing a new GM, well that’s just flat out ignorance with a little arrogance. Now, he is trying to save a little cash in the long term by holding back talent while sticking with veterans who will be gone next year.
Ricketts has somehow managed to set a Cubs team that hasn’t won anything in 103 years back even farther. Good job Tom, can’t wait til next year.