No, it probably wasn’t the camp Eric Jokisch was looking for, but that’s not the reason the Chicago Cubs today optioned the 25-year-old lefty to AAA Iowa.
Jokisch was around 7th or 8th in the rotation depth chart when the Spring opened, and, with options remaining, he was always extremely unlikely to make the team. Now, thanks to a rash of injuries, Jokisch is probably closer to the Cubs’ 6th option, and he’s a virtual lock to see at least some time in the big leagues this year.
The upside is probably limited, but with excellent command and a few pitches in the range of league average or better, Jokisch is a guy who could easily slide into the rotation eventually as a fifth starter. Jokisch was excellent at AAA in 2014 in his first go-around there, and showed up in the 20 to 30 range on the few prospect lists that rank that many Cubs. It may take another year before he gets a more extended look, but, in the interim, Jokisch is great depth to have at Iowa.
On the Spring, Jokisch threw 12 innings, giving up 8 earned runs on 11 hits (including 3 homers) and 2 walks, striking out 7.
He’s still scheduled to start in the Cubs’ Cactus League game on Tuesday, so this “cut” from camp is mostly logistical. He’ll still start for the Cubs, and then head to Iowa for the early part of the season.
After the move, the Cubs’ Spring roster stands at 39.