Cubs choose Tyler Colvin over Brett Jackson with Fukudome gone

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Even though he was hitting .213 with a crazy 29/1 K/BB ratio in 89 at-bats for Triple-A Iowa this month, Tyler Colvin was called up by the Cubs following Thursday’s trade of Kosuke Fukudome to the Indians and could take over as the team’s primary right fielder.

Colvin, who hit 20 homers during a surprisingly strong rookie campaign last year, flopped while splitting time with Fukudome at the beginning of this season, hitting just .105 with two homers in 95 at-bats.  He had a great June for Iowa, hitting .313/.324/.641, but he was a huge disappointment recently, particularly with his .222 on-base percentage this month.  He ended up with a 55/5 K/BB ratio to go along with a .256 average and seven homers in 203 at-bats in the PCL.

Still, Colvin was the pick over the Cubs’ top position prospect, Brett Jackson.  The 22-year-old Jackson got off to a scorching start at Double-A Tennessee this season, but he faded even before his promotion to Iowa earlier this month and he’s hit .204/.298/.367 with 21 strikeouts in 13 games for his new team.  Overall, he’s at .247/.361/.431 with 11 homers and 17 steals in 295 at-bats for the year.

So, Jackson probably isn’t ready yet.  And the Cubs do need to figure out whether Colvin should be a part of their plans for 2012.  As encouraging as Colvin’s 2010 was, he’s done little else since being drafted in the first round five years ago to suggest that he has a fuure as a big-league regular.  These next two months will determine whether he’ll be the Cubs’ right fielder next year or whether the club will be in the market for a stopgap while awaiting Jackson’s arrival.

Nick Williams has been trying to sell Jake Arrieta on the Phillies

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CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.

Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”

On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”

Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.

Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.