Jed Hoyer and Anthony Rizzo Speak About Yesterday’s Big Trade

The Chicago Cubs accomplished a number of stated goals yesterday by acquiring 22-year-old first base prospect, Anthony Rizzo (together with pitching prospect Zach Cates, in exchange for Andrew Cashner and outfield prospect Kyung Min-Na). The team got younger, the Cubs picked up a long-term first baseman, and the Cubs preserved available cash to go after other young pieces (say, for example, Yoenis Cespedes and Jorge Soler).

Cubs’ General Manager Jed Hoyer spoke about the trade, and highly of the young man he thrice acquired.

  • On Rizzo’s overall makeup, something Scouting Chief Jason McLeod has described as the best he’s ever seen: “He has fantastic makeup. After beating cancer when he was 19 years old, he’s a very strong individual. In San Diego I got to know him better than I did in Boston. He makes a big impression on his teammates and he’s an incredibly hard worker …. Overcoming cancer was incredibly impressive, but I think it’s a mistake if you just allude to his makeup that he overcame cancer. He’s a very strong person …. He’s a leader that can put our organization, our team on the right path as far as our culture. He’s a very impressive individual.”
  • On Rizzo’s success thus far and his future potential: “We believe Anthony has the potential to be a middle-of-the-order run producer for the Cubs for a very long time. We believe he still has some development left. We feel what he’s done at age 20 at Double A and age 21 at Triple A was remarkable.”
  • On the plan at first base for 2012: “The way we see it is Bryan [LaHair] had a terrific year last year in Triple-A and has been terrific this year in Venezuela. We see him as our first baseman. It’s likely Anthony will start the year in Triple-A.” For my part, I’m pretty pleased with the plan. Not only could Rizzo use a little more time in AAA to work on his swing, this gives the Cubs a chance to get a long, serious look at LaHair without impeding any other moves. While I was not in favor of LaHair getting the nod at first base instead of the Cubs seeking out a more established or higher upside option, now that they’ve got Rizzo in the fold for the long-term, I’m pleased as punch to let LaHair get his shot, however unlikely the odds of success. Why not?
  • On what happens if Rizzo tears it up in Spring Training: “I’m never going to say never [with respect to Rizzo winning the first base job in Spring Training]. But that’s not the plan we are going into Spring Training with. In general, I think winning jobs in Spring Training is a very dangerous thing. That’s especially true with hitters in Arizona. The ball really flies there. A lot of hitters look good. A lot of things can deceive you in Arizona. The plan is that Bryan LaHair will be our first baseman and that Anthony will be in Iowa.” If the memory of Scott McClain teaches you anything, it is this very point that Jed is making.
  • On Rizzo’s struggles in the big leagues last year, when he was called up at just 21: “To be candid, I don’t think I did Anthony any favors when I was the GM of the Padres. We called him up because we weren’t getting any first base production in San Diego. It was too early, and a mistake on my part, and I don’t think I did Anthony any favors there.”
  • On the move toward younger players: “Any time you go with young players, it’s the right thing to do. It’s exciting to have young talent in an organization, but there’s no doubt that with young talent comes an adjustment period. The best prospects get through that adjustment period and they take off. It’s nice to have a team with upside, and you know that when they do go through that adjustment period, and can get past it, they can explode. With young players, there does come growing pains. It’s definitely something we’re prepared to deal with, and frankly, it’s the only way to rebuild a great organization … to have the patience to go through that with the right players.” That is an excellent attitude, and one that I hope fans take to heart. There’s a bright future ahead, but it is the future. There will be bumps.

As for Rizzo, he’s excited to be a part of what the Cubs are growing.

  • On reuniting with Hoyer, McLeod (and Epstein): “I got called up to the big leagues last year and struggled a little bit. I wouldn’t say some people wrote me off, but some people I guess lost some faith in me. For them to still have that faith, with everything they helped me through, it just shows me how loyal they are and how honored I am to play for them …. This is such a big business. I’ve seen it now for the last five years how much of a business it is. Everyone I’ve spoken to talks about how professional Theo is, how straightforward he is with everyone. It means a lot to me to be with them again.”
  • On his expectation after the Padres traded for first baseman Yonder Alonso: “I figured something would happen, but I wasn’t completely sure. I just went on with my offseason and trained as hard as I’m training to prepare for next year, wherever it was. Now I’m a Cub and hopefully will remain a Cub for many years to come.”

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

135 responses to “Jed Hoyer and Anthony Rizzo Speak About Yesterday’s Big Trade”

  1. curt

    ok i think in the long run this will be a good trade for the cubs but, all i keep hearing is pitching and defense is the way to go and so far weve weakened the only strength this team did have in the bullpen, so im not sure and maybe someone can explain how this actually will help with the rebuild, i still think fielder was the way to go and keep cashner but well see.

    1. Luke

      You can have a very good defensive team, or you can have Fielder on first base. You probably can’t have both.

      The Cubs chose defense.

      As for pitching, I suspect the Cubs are eyeing next season’s free agent class. If they can build a young team that plays good defense and doesn’t beat themselves on the field this season, then they can hopefully add a couple front of the rotation starters next off season, and the rebuild will essentially be complete.

    2. DocWimsey

      Fielding (not defense: that is pitching + fielding) does not take you too far. Over the last several years, playoff teams have been about 50% above average and 50% below average in fielding. Some of the best fielding teams have been non-contenders because pitching is much more important for run-prevention and you do have to score runs.

      Rizzo should provide a good mitt and good range at first; he could easily turn into a 0.280/0.380/0.500 guy that creates a lot of runs for the Cubs, and saves at first, too.

    3. Drake

      You also have to remember (in the sabermetrician frame of mind) relief pitchers are the most replaceable pieces of a major league team and should always be looked at as a sell high-buy low option very similar to how we saw the Cubs get a good haul in exchange for Marshall and bought low on a high upside relief pitcher in Manny Corpas. Generally when people are talking about winning with pitching they are referring to starting pitching.

      Just look at what it is the Rays have done with their bullpen the last few years. They have had “integral” pieces leave quite frequently every year it seems, yet always have strong pitching because of putting into place these ideals.

      1. BetterNews

        Sabermetrician!(LOL) What does that pay and how do I apply?

  2. Rochester Cubs Fan

    That sounds like Pena

    1. Sam

      Yes I think that would be the Wonderful if could produce like Pena … but too many Cub fans are stuck on lil theo- This Pick is all Epstien- this was his true pick in Boston and when he was a High School player the word on the street was a cant miss prospect. But i think he will miss- he reminds me more of a guy Name Doug Jennings ( Cub fans should remember him ) when he was with the Oaklands minor league team that kid tore it up- HR RBI AVG but when he reached the majors his bat speed could not handle major league pitching – and by the way doug jenning finish his career as a cub.

      1. EtotheR

        I think you sound anti-Semitic…likely an anti-dentite, too.

        1. Sam

          Consider the data below courtesy of Baseball Prospectus’ Bradley Ankrom:

          < 90mph – 95 PA, .149 AVG, 25% SO
          = 92mph – 42 PA, .125 AVG, 38% SO
          >= 94mph – 21 PA, .063 AVG, 50% SO
          This the why Rizzo stinks and the padres could unload him .

          1. EtotheR

            Oh. Okay.

            If you’re right, we’ll know soon enough.

            If you’re wrong, I’ll expect you to come back and say so.

            Until then…shut it.

          2. JR1908

            The kid was 21 yrs old playing in the show last yr. It’s a good thing he struggled, otherwise he wouldn’t have been avail. His swing is a bit long but the foundation is there. No slack for him?

            1. college_of_coaches

              I agree, it is important to give this young kid a chance. I leave you with this quote from the 19th century (from either Mark Twain or Benjamin Disraeli):

              “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

              What Hoyer saw in Rizzo last year during his cup-of-coffee in SD was clearly not statistically quantifiable.

              1. DocWimsey

                That’s a cute quote from Twain, but it’s oxymoronic. Statistics are summaries of data, nothing more and nothing less. The belief that you can “make” statistics tell you anything you want is just a superstition held by people ignorant of statistics and probability.

                1. college_of_coaches

                  Indeed, this was the point of the quote.

          3. Skinner

            Seems to me that you should consider sample size before throwing numbers like that out there as something definitive. Taking his age into consideration would also be a good idea.

            1. DocWimsey

              You are bang-on: the binomial error bars on Rizzo’s performance are huge. 150 ABs simply is not enough to tell us anything: after all, half a season is nowhere near enough to tell us anything.

              One telling stat is Rizzo’s 0.210 BABIP last year. That is unsustainable, to say the very least.

            2. Sam

              I did ….. Some player cant hit the breaking ball some players cant hit lefties – righties whatever . Mr Rizzo has a good batting stance uses all fields for power – he run well and defends above average. he has had 4 years experience in the minor leagues most players his age has none
              BECAUSE OF this experience he has seen more pitches and he has played for reputable minor league systems. He hits outstanding when the ball travels below 90 mph but those qualities are not present once the ball travels above 90 mph. Yes because he is 21 hopefully his swing will get shorter (faster) but unlikely tis the reason we got him so cheap! will he be a good ball player I wish every young kid /man could fullfill its dream – i just see question marks – but this kid seems to be a good man with great work ethics.

              1. Skinner

                Every prospect should be viewed skeptically, as even the can’t-miss ones often do.

                And for the record, I don’t object to your cautious view of Rizzo (we would all be wise to temper expectations), just your emphasis on that short stint in the big leagues at age 21 as being the final word (“Rizzo stinks…”) when it’s not even a telling first word.

                Also, keep in mind…Rizzo is not the only 21 year old with multiple years of minor league experience (additionally you’re being slightly deceptive by saying he has 4 years…2 of those seasons saw him rack up a combined 111 PA, partly due to NH lymphoma) . There are plenty of those guys throughout the minor leagues. He’s just one of the very, very few to sniff the major leagues at such a young age, and even one of the fewer to absolutely destroy AAA pitching like he did. Most kids his age are either juniors in college or buried in the low minors.

                You’re selling the kid awful short, much like Byrnes did.

          4. Brian Myers

            It’s really too early to make that call. A handful of plate appearances in the show only indicates he doesn’t have much experience swinging at hard moving fastballs. It could mean he’s going to suck or it could indicate a slight adjustment in the swing and he’ll drive the ball. What we do know is that he can drive mistake pitches and off speed stuff. He also can field.

            It’s not unrealistic to think he could hit .260′s (or better) in the big leagues with 20+ HR’s a year… with a good glove. That doesn’t make him a great 1B man, but it does give them an inexpensive, serviceable solution for the near future. The guy they lose is still developing himself and is likely an individual that can be replaced fairly easily either by an arm from their own system or from free agency.

            I’m not dancing/excited about the trade, but nothing indicates it’s a bad trade beyond being a career minor leaguer that struggled his first cup of coffee in the majors. It’s good for him to start in the minors and we see how he develops.

            1. cubmig

              What hitter worth his salt would miss “mistake pitches”?—and off-speed stuff (Soriano not included)? Seems like you are really lowering the bar for success. I hope Rizzo does well and puts up some monster numbers to affirm the faith everyone expresses in his talent. But —– as in all things baseball, only time will tell.

              1. Brian Myers

                …and you seem to agree. A hitter worth his salt doesn’t miss “mistake pitches”. The fact he can hit them shows he has potential. That doesn’t mean he’s going to be any good on the major league level (as former Cub Derrick May proved… that guy had one of the best swings I’ve ever seen, just couldn’t hit well in the majors). I personally think he’ll do fine, he may even be a star. My response was to Sam’s posting saying Rizzo stinks… my comment was that he shows signs that he CAN hit (mistake pitches, etc), but its still too early to tell his long term success.

        2. Sam

          wow anti semitic good grief……. but i take issue on stealing Palins vocab to call me antidentite or stop being a Kramer.

          1. EtotheR

            Nope…I stands by my hurling of all things accusatory, derogatory, and incendiary. Your repugnance is matched only by your banality.

            And…to the Twainsian and binomial commentary above…SALUT!

  3. Rochester Cubs Fan

    I’m OK with losing Cashner. He had a shoulder injury and for some reason they can fix elbows but not shoulders.

    1. scorecardpaul

      Hey Rochester, not trying to be a stalker, but Rochester, Illinois? me too, small world

  4. MrCub73

    When you look at the remaining pieces from the 2011 Cubs and the new additions for 2012, I predict the Cubs win more games in 2012 then in 2011.  The next prediction is Yoenis Cespedes will be a Cub and play center with Jackson and Sappelt forming a platoon in left.

    Lineup as team currently constructed assuming two things (Soriano gets moved and Cespedes is signed)

    1. DeJesus
    2. Jackson/Sappelt
    3. Castro
    4. LaHair/Rizzo
    5. Cespedes
    6. Stewart
    7. Soto
    8. Barney
    9. P

    Castro and Cespedes could be flipped, so would Stewart and Soto flip depending upon rightly or lefty pitcher.   The team speed, defense, overall pitching and athletic ability will be better on this team and will translate into more W’s.  The only spot in the lineup that may not perform up to 2011 offensive standards is at 3rd with Stewart, but the Cubs will not miss all or nothing guys like Pena.  It is runs scored, not HR that count!

     

     

     

  5. KJ

    I think the Cubs are doing a great job. Just look at the Giants a couple of years ago. The had probably one of the best bullpens in the majors and no hitting. They won the WS with pitching. The Cubs, if they build the bullpen up can do the same as the Giants did. I’m very excited by what is happening and the direction the Cubs are taking.

  6. Leon's Gatorade soaked mitt

    Does anyone know if Rizzo is a good defender?

    1. Brian Myers

      They say he’s good.

    2. jr5

      I’ve read above average.

  7. Dustin S

    It’s gonna be bumpy for a year or two, but any true Cub fan should be excited about where this team is going. It will be so much more enjoyable to watch a team running out ground balls and knowing how many outs there are compared to the Bad News Bears teams of the last couple years.

    Got a group of 4 of us heading to the convention Friday also.

    BTW…the video of Rizzo’s first hit got me pumped up. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1icMpCv-uI0&feature=related

  8. Cliffy

    QT @Cliffy46405: Maybe Garza back in play to Rangers? QT @MLBInsideNews: Darvish wants 5/100. #Rangers at 6/45. There is a real chance he goes back to Japan.

    If not signed by January 18th, could put Garza back in play for Rangers.

  9. Ryan

    No point in Jackson playing platoon. Let him play in Iowa if he isn’t going to play everyday.

  10. Ryan

    So who else is going to get traded before the season? Garza,Soto, Wells, Byrd, Soriano?

  11. Mike S

    Brett,

    Do the Cubs have anyone to trade for Mark Trumbo and/or any interest? He’s under team control for 5 years, was second in voting for Rookie of the Year, and could fit well into our future 3rd Basemen position. The Angels reportedly want a young, cost effective bullpen arm (ie Cashner who we just gave up for Rizzo).
    Thoughts??

    1. Sam

      I would trade Marmol since we have no real reason to carry a closer!

  12. Mike S

    Marmol or Samardzija maybe??

  13. Ryan

    Aren’t the Angles going to try abnd play Trumbo at 3rd?

  14. Mike S

    There was an article on MLBTradeRumors about the Angels maybe trading either Morales or Trumbo…just wondering if we could maybe get Trumbo from them for a Marmol or Samardzija

  15. Jeff L

    Fielder still a possibility… Buster Olney of ESPN states: The acquisition of Anthony Rizzo changes nothing for the Cubs and their pursuit of Prince Fielder. Olney calls it an “apples and oranges” situation given the price tag of the two players. The Cubs’ brass has been acting with zero urgency in talks with Fielder, and they’ve always been leery about giving him a long-term deal…. Seems like a long shot but is still there

    1. Toosh

      Fielder is not coming to the Cubs. Where would Rizzo play?

    2. Brian Myers

      The Cubs still have money to move. BUT I also know the Cubs brass really like Rizzo and they’ve publically stated they are still looking for starting pitching depth. I’m betting they either make a trade that adds a bit of salary or they pick up a 30 year old (ish) (because that’s what is mostly still available) free agent arm on a short term contract to add depth. Once that happens, there won’t be much wiggle room left in their budget for Fielder.

    3. Dustin S

      Zero chance now of Fielder coming to the Cubs. That Olney article seemed pretty far fetched.

    4. Kansas Cubs Fan

      I don’t see how he can say Rizzo and Fielder are “apples and oranges’.

      They’re both Power hitting left handed first baseman.

      Seems like that would be apples to apples.

  16. Toosh

    Trumbo has never played 3B in the minors or majors.

  17. bluekoolaidaholic

    Rizzo is a great kid with a fantastic attitude who works hard and has excelled at every level ……Except one. A cup of coffee isn’t a fair test, Several other famous hitters were not great their first year, including Sandberg (too bad he’s not on our staff any more).
    I say give this great kid a chance to get good training from Jarmillo and Sveum and our other coaches and see what happens. He has made the right adjustments at every level, why should this one be any different? All big leaguers go through this. Some make it, some don’t, but the odds are with him.

  18. B_Scwared

    So I can’t stop wondering what the Cubs are going to do with all the money that has come off the books already and is continuing to come off the books.  Other than Fielder (who I don’t think they will sign), the only other expensive FA’s will be the Cubans.  There would still be a lot of $ left over even if they signed both. 

     I’m starting to think they are going to put it aside to help cover Soriano’s remaining contract once they move him, which I think will happen soon.  I don’t expect them to spend it for the sake of matching last year’s payroll.  Whatever money they don’t spend this year could be used towards providing more flexibility in the future.  Thoughts?

    Brett, like many others I have turned to this site for all my Cubs updates and I love it.  Thanks for doing an awesome job.

    1. loyal100more

      money saved this year would likely be spent in the 2013 class of free agent SP… such as cole hamels or matt cain to name a few studs in next years available arms.

    2. Andrew

      I hope they make a strong run for cespedes and soler and the other one (concepcion i think?). Im not exactly sure what kind of payroll theyre looking at. I read that the zambrano trade didnt actually do anything to affect payroll because the terms were that the marlins would pay Big Z whatever Big V makes in arbitration so the cubs are still on the hook for all of that contract. they saved a little money in marshalls trade which was probably offset by a combination of the minor signings the cubs made. The payroll this year still has like 5 mill of penas contract since it was backlogged. Still gotta resign wood, not sure what figure theyre looking at but im thinking it could be higher than expected since wood gave them the discount last year. Dejesus is gonna make 5 mill a year. Currently unless im missing something to me it seems like to get to the same budget as last year they have somewhere in the ballpark of 20-25 (though im sure many people more informed than I could give a better estimate) million free to do stuff which could mean the cubans. Obviously things could change a bit if we trade garza, byrd, soriano, marmol, etc. Given the projected free agent starting pitching class of next year I wouldnt be too surprised if they save up to pick up some great pitching for next year to put them over the top

      1. Ryan

        Didn’t I read somewhere where the Cubs were basically looking at getting rid of Byrd’s contract and weren’t really wanting much other than salary relief back?

  19. loyal100more

    can you imagine this young group of guys,garza gets extended and you get hamels and cain to join the rotation. wow!

  20. loyal100more

    hard to see the cubs aggressivly going after trumbo, morales on the other hand is a very obtainable bounce back guy, that fits the mold of guys theo has favored in regards to making deals. low money and potential high up side. im unclear as to the versatility of morales, not sure if hes played anywhere else in his career other than at first. but i do expect a huge come back year from him if he finds a place to play everyday. he would be a beast in the lower part of any line up

  21. loyal100more

    lets just say despite there needs the angels asking price for trumbo would be very high, as for morales, he would be quite reasonable,and i guy id live to see healthy hitting in wrigley.

    1. Kansas Cubs Fan

      Morales still isn’t ready to play.

      Someone said he may need another surgery and is thinking about retirement.

  22. ray

    does this improve our chances of signing cespedes and/or soler? if not our chances, at least our appetite to go after them. money they save w/ rizzo over fielder, better bidding flexibility they have on them. take advantage before international signings get limited.

  23. Roland Perrelli

    cubsin again it is disingenuous of Theo to say every season is sacred when we have just demolished our season. I am not against rebuilding but do not tell me how we are going to be competitive every year. When he should have said we will be competitive after 2014.

    1. TongueInCheek

      We are going to see young players giving their all. I won’t ask for anything more. Some of the “older” players are looking to bounce back. Some will make it and some won’t. It is going to be inspiring and fun,

  24. Big Joe

    If I’m LaHair, I’m probably not too excited at Hoyer’s less than ringing endorsement of my abilities, or my “upside”. I’m not saying I agree, or disagrees…BUT, it sounds like an honest man admitting that “yeah, my wife’s fairly average looking, at best”, out pound, at the company Christmas party. Drunk or not, it’s not the sort of statement that will get you any action when the two of you get home.

    1. loyal100more

      im really eager to see what the guy can do … and would LOVE to see him silence his crittics! hes a cub after all!

  25. pfk

    Here’s the take of the San Diego Times-Union newspaper on Rizzo…”Six months ago, Anthony Rizzo was seen as a savior — the budget-friendly replacement for Adrian Gonzalez. Now, Rizzo’s another overhyped prospect in need of a shorter swing, sent packing presumably because it was pointless to pretend he was competing at first base with Yonder Alonso.” Ouch! I must say, looking at video of him batting, MLB pitchers will own him with that swing. There’s a big difference between AAA and MLB. I trust that Theo/Hoyer know how to fix that.

    1. Alex

      That’s just their media spinning the trade in the Padres favor.

      The Padres brought up Rizzo last year before he was ready. Hoyer has admitted as much.

      If Detroit felt that way about Jacob Turner’s stint in the majors last season, they would trade him for anything THEY can get.

      In 3 starts for the Tigers last season, Turner had:
      – an 0-1 record
      – 17 hits in 12.2 innings
      – an 8.53 ERA
      – an ERA+ of 49
      – a WHIP of 1.658

      There’s more, but I think I’ve made my point. No one is going to look at Turner as a bust, just because of a small sample size. They should also give Rizzo that same benefit of the doubt.

      1. pfk

        I still think it was a great trade. I’m just saying that Rizzo needs to work on his swing. Here’s what Baseball America has to say about him…”Rizzo must make adjustments after big league pitchers were able to exploit the length and uppercut in his swing with quality fastballs up in the zone. He needs to stay on top of the ball and level out his stroke to make more contact and hit more line drives.” MLB pitchers now have a “book” on him and he must adjust accordingly. I have faith that he will adjust but the fact that quality MLB pitchers figured him out is not spin. We’ve seen plenty of hot prospects with promise not make the adjustment once pitchers get a book on them – Cubs history is replete with them. Again, I’m all for this trade because I trust Theo & Co. I’m just saying the kid needs to get to work on his swing.

  26. Cubsin

    Roland, I’ve never known a baseball executive that told the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth all the time. The 2012 Cubs will be competitive, in the sense that young players will be given the opportunity to develop, and those that fail will eventually be replaced. I expect them to win more games than the Astros and Pirates (and the 2011 Cubs), and they might even finish ahead of the Reds and/or Brewers.

  27. drew

    I dont know that Rizzo will be a great major-leaguer, but how the hell can you call a kid who just played his age-21 season between AAA and the bigs overhyped? Sounds like they may be stretching a little….

  28. miggy80

    Bret, got me a smart phone so I can monitor BN @ work again!

  29. BetterNews

    Two things that I have not seen mentioned about Rizzo. He has good speed and base running ability as well as power to the opposite field. People have repeatedly questioned his defense. It is considered above average. He is a “tremendous” signing.

    1. Rick Vaughn

      I’ve been made aware of his above average (potential?) defense. I haven’t seen much reported about his running speed/ability. I can’t wait to see what he does in Iowa. Same with Lahair for the Cubs. Going to be an interesting (if not fun) season, whether the Cubs win or lose.

      1. BetterNews

        Yes.

  30. J.B. House

    Rizzo got 128 at bats last and he is only 21. Can anybody tell me why ( on a team that was 21 games under 500) Lahair only got 59. Or why Jackson didn’t get a September call up or why Dolis and Cleavenger came up but barely sniffed the field. Tony Campana did get 143 ab’ s but he would have been nice to see him start a little more often.

    1. King Jeff

      The reason for all of the above is Mike Quade.  The exception is Brett Jackson.  I think that was Randy Bush making that call, and I think it was the right one.

      1. BetterNews

        Not true.

        1. Rick Vaughn

          I think there definitely is some truth to that. Once it was know that Hendry was a lame duck GM, you would have to assume Quade was fighting for his job. Why play the kids when the veterans probably gave him a better chance of winning games? There was no reason why the younger guys shouldn’t have been playing more. Campana, Lahair, Colvin, Dolis, Cleavenger, etc… On a team looking at the future, these are the guys that should have been playing. But Quade kept putting the older guys out there because he probably felt he had nothing to lose at that point. A strong finish could have possibly saved him his job (just like it earned him the job the season before), or at the very least show some other teams that he might actually know how to win, so he’d have some value in the future.

    2. BetterNews

      J.B.–Pena was making millions. Jackson is cosidered “not ready” by many standards.

      1. Brian Myers

        That’s true. Jackson only had about 200 AAA AB’s and was a .266 hitter in AA ball. He has great upside, but with several OF’s including the previously mention LaHair trying to get AB’s and a team that wasn’t in contention, there just wasn’t any benefit to rush him.

    3. Brian Myers

      I can only answer Rizzo and LaHair:

      Rizzo was rushed to the majors to fill a hole that existed at 1B on his club. LaHair had a gentleman named Carlos Pena ahead of him so he was either going to play in a crowded OF or sit on the bench. So the Cubs did the right thing, they let him get his reps in the minors while Rizzo was brought up too early.