Chicago Cubs manager Dale Sveum admitted Friday that making roster cuts has been the hardest thing he has had to do this spring.
”There are a couple of guys who are ready to play here, especially Brett Jackson,” Sveum said. “He is ready to play here. He needs to go down and work on some of the adjustments. He has swung the bat really well in his last 15 at-bats.”
The Cubs cut seven players from the major league roster on Friday, including Jackson and top prospect Anthony Rizzo.
”I think he is the type of kid that that will put the pressure on us to get him here one way or the other,” Sveum said.
It wasn’t just Jackson’s spring numbers -- .276 with 2 home runs and 7 RBIs in 29 at-bats – that impressed Sveum.
”He brings so much to the table” Sveum said. ”In my nine years of coaching he is the best young player I’ve seen in a major league camp. He is the full package. The swinging and missing, he has to work on and cutting down strikeouts. He just brings a lot to the table.”
Sveum said he will make his choice for the third and fourth spot in the rotation on Wednesday. Jeff Samardzija and Chris Volstad are the leading candidates. Randy Wells and Rodrigo Lopez are likely to fight it out for the long man role.
It appears right-handed reliever Rafael Dolis is a lock to make the bullpen out of spring training. ”He has had a heck of a spring,” Sveum said. “It’s tough not to say he is going to be one of the guys. He has too good of stuff and has done to well out of spring training.”
The Cubs do not have the MRI results on Marcos Mateo's apparent elbow injury yet. Mateo came out of Thursday’s game after one batter with arm discomfort.