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posted: 9/4/2013 12:14 AM

Cubs' Jackson continues to struggle

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  • Cubs starting pitcher Edwin Jackson lasted only 5 innings Tuesday night as he record fell to 7-15 with the loss to the Marlins.

      Cubs starting pitcher Edwin Jackson lasted only 5 innings Tuesday night as he record fell to 7-15 with the loss to the Marlins.
    Associated Press

  • Video: Jackson on continued struggles

 
 

Don't expect any changes to the Cubs' pitching rotation for the remainder of the season.

Even though the Cubs called up one starting pitcher from Class AAA Iowa and could activate Scott Baker off the disabled list any day, the current rotation will hold, according to manager Dale Sveum.

That includes the baffling Edwin Jackson, who ran his pitch count to 104 and lasted 5 innings in a 6-2 loss to the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night at Wrigley Field.

Jackson, who has not won a decision since July 31 and has rarely looked dominant, gave up 7 hits and 3 runs as his ERA inched up from 4.90 to 4.91 while his record fell to 7-15.

"He's handled it as professionally as you can," Sveum said of Jackson's tough season. "It hasn't been the greatest season. He had good stretch there for a while and then gone backwards a little bit lately.

"There are about 5 starts left, and hopefully he can get things going and finish the season real strong. But he's handled it real well."

Jackson threw 34 pitches in the fifth inning, when the Marlins went ahead 3-0.

"It's definitely been a disappointing season," he said. "But every lesson is a lesson learned. You either accept it and be complacent with it, or you find a way to keep working harder and get ready to bounce back.

"I have three more years here. When you have a season like this, it definitely makes you look forward to coming back and bouncing back for the next three years."

Jackson is part of a rotation that includes Jeff Samardzija, Travis Wood, Chris Rusin and Jake Arrieta. Samardzija and Wood, the Cubs' two top starters, are in line to reach the 200-innings mark each.

The Cubs want to continue taking looks at lefty Rusin and right-hander Arrieta to see what they have for 2014.

On Tuesday, the Cubs recalled right-hander Justin Grimm from Class AAA Iowa. Grimm, however, will go to the bullpen.

The same fate appears in store for Baker, who finished a rehab assignment on Labor Day at Kane County. Baker is recovering from Tommy John surgery, performed in April 2012 while he was with the Twins.

Even though Baker has been a starting pitcher, the Cubs don't see fit to bump anyone from the rotation or expand it to six pitchers.

"Nobody's told me," Baker said. "That's news to me, if that's the case. I understand there are some guys who've come over in trades. There's a lot of guys here, with a limited amount of innings to throw.

"I get it. I get why they would say that. I do want to start, whether it's here or anywhere, because that's what I've always done."

Baker, who signed a one-year, $5.5 million contract last off-season, added he had only good things to say about how the Cubs have treated him.

"I don't have one negative thing to say about how things have been handled," he said. "They've given me every opportunity to get healthy and to be successful.

"It's just taken a lot longer than everyone anticipated. It stinks, but it is what it is."

Baker's velocity on the fastball has not bounced back quickly -- it has been in the mid-80s (mph) for the most part. Sveum said the Cubs would base their decision on Baker on how he feels.

"I think as much as anything it's the health and knowing he did get to a certain amount of pitches," Sveum said. "Obviously, the velocities aren't there that he would like to see or we would like to see.

"The fact of the matter is he's been able to go every five days and bounce back and no problems and all that."

bmiles@dailyherald.com

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