ESPN’s Jesse Rogers reports that the Cubs have designated Edwin Jackson for assignment and called up reliever Rafael Soriano from Triple-A Iowa. Though the move isn’t surprising given Jackson’s struggles, it has nevertheless left a “somber mood” in the Cubs’ locker room, Rogers notes.
The Cubs signed Jackson to a four-year, $52 million contract in December 2012, but it didn’t work out. Over 347 innings with the Cubs, the right-hander compiled a 5.37 ERA. This season, it was a respectable 3.19 in 31 relief innings, but his strikeout and walk rates are pedestrian at best for a reliever.
Soriano only tossed seven innings in the minors for the Cubs but allowed no runs while allowing four hits and three walks and striking out seven.
Watch as Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen collects the 1,000th hit of his career on a sharply-struck infield single Wednesday night against Cubs reliever Edwin Jackson …
1,000 hits isn’t really a notable milestone — over 1,200 players have done it — but it’s impressive how quickly the 28-year-old McCutchen got there. He made his major league debut for the Pirates on June 4, 2009.
MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports that lefty Travis Wood has won the last remaining spot in the Cubs’ starting rotation. He’ll take the No. 4 spot ahead of Kyle Hendricks. Edwin Jackson, who lost out on the job to Wood, will head to the bullpen.
Wood allowed nine earned runs with a 13/3 K/BB ratio in 19 1/3 innings this spring. Jackson also allowed nine earned runs but had a 9/4 K/BB ratio in 15 1/3 innings.
A year after finishing with a 3.11 ERA, Wood posted a 5.03 ERA for the Cubs last season. Wood has shown the ability to be an above-average starter but has struggled with consistency over his five-year major league career.
As if enough things haven’t already gone wrong for Edwin Jackson during his time with the Cubs.
Jackson showed up too late to start yesterday’s game against the A’s because Google Maps sent him to the wrong ballpark. I’ll let Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com explain:
“I actually put it in Google Maps and typed in ‘Oakland Athletics spring training complex,’” Jackson said. “It took me to the old one. I know, it’s crazy, but, yeah, that pretty much sums it up. A crazy, crazy way to start a day.”
Jackson left before the team bus and wound up at Phoenix Municipal Stadium, which is now home to the Arizona State University baseball team. The Cubs still keep a Mesa mailing address by the Tempe/Scottsdale border, with Google Maps saying Sloan Park is 3.6 miles away from Hohokam Stadium.
Because he was late the Cubs had Blake Parker pitch the first inning and then Jackson entered the game later, at which point he allowed eight runs in 1.2 innings of work.
Jackson has two years and $22 million left on his contract, but after back-to-back awful seasons in Chicago he’s not even a sure thing to get the No. 5 spot in the rotation. At this point–warning, bad joke coming!–the Cubs wish he couldn’t find Wrigley Field.
Making official what was expected, the Cubs have named Jon Lester as their Opening Day starter.
Lester, who joined the Cubs on a six-year, $155 million deal in December, made the Opening Day start for the Red Sox last season and in 2013, 2012, and 2011.
He’ll be followed in the rotation by Jake Arrieta, Jason Hammel, and Kyle Hendricks, with the fifth spot up for grabs among Edwin Jackson, Travis Wood, and Tsuyoshi Wada.