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Cubs demote top prospects Anthony Rizzo and Brett Jackson to Triple-A

Mar 23, 2012, 2:14 PM EDT

Brett Jackson AP

Neither player was expected to crack the Opening Day roster and today the Cubs made it official, optioning top prospects Anthony Rizzo and Brett Jackson to Triple-A.

Rizzo was acquired from the Padres for Andrew Cashner in January and is the Cubs’ long-term answer at first base, but the team made it pretty clear that they wanted him to get a little more seasoning in the minors while giving Bryan LaHair a chance to play regularly in Chicago.

Jackson simply didn’t have an obvious role in the Cubs’ outfield with Marlon Byrd, David DeJesus, and Alfonso Soriano set as the starters and Reed Johnson as the primary backup. He’s also just 23 years old and has struggled to make consistent contact in the minors, although 64 strikeouts in 48 games at Triple-A last season didn’t stop Jackson from hitting .297 with a .939 OPS.

Jackson and Rizzo are both top-100 prospects and both figure to be in Chicago at some point this year.

  1. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Mar 23, 2012 at 2:24 PM

    No surprise here. I can’t wait to see these guys come back up, though. Next generation of great Cubs players.

    • 18thstreet - Mar 23, 2012 at 2:32 PM

      When was the first generation of great Cubs players?

      I kid, I kid.

      • istillbelieveinblue - Mar 23, 2012 at 2:58 PM

        Come on, must you kick us while we’re down?? :)

      • 18thstreet - Mar 23, 2012 at 4:37 PM

        I’m really rooting for you guys. I think Theo did a great job with the Red Sox and I only wish him the best.

        And after everything the Red Sox went through, I pretty much always root for the other long-suffering fan bases (other than the Philadelphia Eagles) to have their turn.

        It gets better.

    • The Baseball Idiot - Mar 23, 2012 at 2:33 PM

      I’m sure they’ll win as many World Series as the generation of great Cubs players.

      • The Baseball Idiot - Mar 23, 2012 at 2:36 PM

        *last* generation.

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Mar 23, 2012 at 2:46 PM

        Oh cool, a douche comment about the Cubs. That’s classy.

      • The Baseball Idiot - Mar 23, 2012 at 4:21 PM

        You say something genuinely nice about the Cardinals (and not some Gomer Pyle, golly gee, isn’t every nice) and I’ll say something genuinely nice about the Cubs.

      • deadeyedesign23 - Mar 23, 2012 at 4:58 PM

        I’m a Cub fan that actually has no problem with The Cards. My Grandfather is a Cardinals fan, I was rooting for them last post season. The only problem with the Cardinals is that they’re surrounded by Missouri

      • The Baseball Idiot - Mar 23, 2012 at 5:16 PM

        That would work better if they were the East St Louis Cardinals.

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Mar 23, 2012 at 5:30 PM

        I’ve got no issue with the Cardinals. I really like Motte, Wainwright and Berkman – who I really wanted the Cubs to sign last year just because of what a class act he is if anything else.

        I was at the first game played after Darryl Kile died. The Cubs won by about 15 runs but I couldn’t cheer. No one did. We didn’t even feel like victory was a good way to pay our respects. It was quiet, there was no 7th inning stretch, and as the Cubs knocked in runs, we just sat there. I sure showed my respect and condolensces that day.

        I like Pujols, always have; always seemed like a professional, genuine guy. Ozzie Smith, Stan the Man, Hornsby, Slaughter, Brock, Gibson – all tremendous ex-Cardinals I admire.

        You didn’t even need to insult my team to get these nice things about yours. The Cardinals are a storied franchise with a great fanbase, and I love the fun rivalry the two teams have.

      • The Baseball Idiot - Mar 23, 2012 at 8:44 PM

        That’s nice and all. But I specifically said no Gomer Pyle tributes. C’mon, I’m willing to make the effort. Work with me here.

  2. icanspeel - Mar 23, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    Hoyer learned from his lesson of rushing Rizzo last year. I think Rizzo has a bright future, but no need to rush it

  3. niubears - Mar 23, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    Very excited to see those two play at Wrigley one day. Here’s hoping that they don’t turn out to be the next Corey Patterson, Felix Pie, Hee Soip Choi, Mark Prior, Bobby Hill, Bobby Brownlie……… This list will be way too long, I’ll stop it now.

    • istillbelieveinblue - Mar 23, 2012 at 3:07 PM

      They sent Choi to Flori…er…Miami for D-Lee, and Bobby Hill to Pitt for Aramis Ramirez.

  4. jeffa43 - Mar 23, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    Rizzo’s swing is as long as a train ride from Cali to NY…..

    Pretty swings does not translate to contact….

    Padres got tired of trying to get him to shorten it…..

    Cubs will as well…

    Should have kept Cashner…

    • okobojicat - Mar 23, 2012 at 3:20 PM

      Theo and Hoyer drafted Rizzo while in Boston.
      Hoyer traded for Rizzo while in SD.
      Theo and Hoyer traded for Rizzo while in Chicago.
      I would say that they are pretty big fans of Rizzo. Rizzo has torn up the minor leagues, even when he was extraordinairy young for his age. 122 at bats at Major Leagues (in Petco!) at the age of 23 do not tell you anything about a player.
      Rizzo may never be Adrian Gonzalez’s equal, but he has the pedigree to be a very good major leaguer.

    • jason1214 - Mar 23, 2012 at 5:09 PM

      Yeah the same Cashner, who ISN’T a starting pitcher and never will be.
      I’ll trade a future closer/setup man for an everyday first baseman ANY day, strikeouts and all, cause the trade off will be he’ll play above average defense and hit 30 bombs.

      • jeffa43 - Mar 23, 2012 at 8:20 PM

        So you are saying Rizzon in SD is different than a young pitcher in the ban box in Chicago?
        Cashner is also very young, and is in the major leagues.

        Curt Schilling did not look like a starter in Houston either, just saying.

        Cashners path from high school on shows you that this guy can be a starter, and a good one. He also could become a great closer. (Cant tell the future over here?)

        Just saying he has a long swing, It was really tough watching him late inside on every pitch.

      • jason1214 - Mar 24, 2012 at 11:54 AM

        No Jeff, I’m simply saying, I do not feel Cashner’s future is as a starting pitcher. He was a closer @ TCU, and even as a starter in the minors he averaged 5 innings per start, and rarely got into the 6th inning. A change in ballparks is not going to suddenly change that. Doesn’t mean he won’t be valuable to SD or as a major leaguer.

      • paperlions - Mar 24, 2012 at 8:55 AM

        Isn’t the concern about Cashner that he missed so much time with a rotator cuff problem last yera, and that he wouldn’t hold up as a starter. As a pro, he’s never thrown more than 110 innings and he’s already 25. They could try him as a starter, but that won’t happen this year on the heels of the shoulder problems….and once he’s slotted into a relief role, it’ll probably be hard to get him back out of it (again, especially because of his injury/durability history).

      • jason1214 - Mar 24, 2012 at 11:55 AM

        You are correct paperlions. I just don’t feel as you said he will hold up as a starting pitcher. Should make a VERY good closer however.

  5. larryboodry - Mar 23, 2012 at 5:32 PM

    Last great generation of Cubs was probably the late 60’s, early 70’s team (yes, the same squad that broke our hearts in ’69):

    Santo, Banks, Williams, Kessinger, Beckert, Hundley, Pappas, Holtzman, Jenkins, etc.

    The ’84 team had some good players also, but didn’t keep the momentum due to injuries.

  6. Bar None - Mar 24, 2012 at 1:49 AM

    The headline seems weird. If they weren’t going to make the MLB roster, they aren’t really being demoted as much as they are being sent to Minor League camp. I guess it is a technical demotion, but not a real one.

  7. jbro3169 - Mar 24, 2012 at 8:08 AM

    Got some hope for Dizziness but I think Jackson is going to be a VERY good major leaguer. When he come up to the big leagues for good later this season I’ll be sporting his jersey no doubt! Things looking pretty decent for the Cubbies at the moment! GO CUBS!!!

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