The youth movement is (really) officially underway on Sunday, with the news that the Chicago Cubs had recalled prospects Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters. In order to make room for both, the Cubs traded Jeff Baker to the Detroit Tigers and sent Tony Campana to Iowa.
The move was seen as somewhat overdue for Vitters, who is enjoying a fantastic season in his first year at the Triple A level. The longtime Cubs prospect has finally seen that work pay off after a slow start to his professional career, though he likely won’t start at third base on Sunday.
Vitters was hitting .304, with 17 home runs and almost 70 runs knocked in the year. Assuming he doesn’t return to Iowa, his Triple A career ended with a bang, with a monster three-run home run on Saturday night, essentially banging down the door to Wrigley Field. He shouldn’t have a problem getting regular time at third with Luis Valbuena the only real option there right now.
The call for Brett Jackson comes as a bit bigger of a surprise, though.
Jackson had a fantastic spring and was very strong out of the gate for Iowa, but had slowed down considerably as the season wore on. Those 158 strikeouts in 106 games aren’t pretty and were considered a main reason he’d be held in Iowa until at least September. But he will likely get the starts in centerfield for the Cubs now, while David DeJesus moves back to right. That means the struggling Bryan LaHair is bench bound.
As we wear on into August and September, this adds intrigue and another reason to continue to watch this club as they battle for fifth place in the National League Central.