So, what do you suppose Roosevelt Brown is up to?

The worst part about the offseason is having to waste time talking about Cubs players who aren’t actually a part of the team. Players like, oh, say, Tony Campana, Hayden Simpson, and Brett Jackson. Now that the 2012 season is in full swing, and we have actual, meaningful baseball to discuss, GUESS WHO THIS WEEK’S MUSKBOX WANTS TO DISCUSS???

With Marlon Byrd struggling so far…

Six percent of the way into the season, but, yes, I’m with you.

…how long do you see the Cubs waiting to bring up Brett Jackson? He looked impressive in Spring Training, and he could be a boost to the lineup.
— Nick A., Valparaiso, Ind.

They might have 3.1 wins right now instead of just the 3!

CARRIE: Jackson did have a good spring, but he still has some things to learn — such as cutting down on strikeouts — which is why the Cubs want him in the Minor Leagues. He’s batting .273 at Triple-A Iowa with 16 strikeouts and six walks.

“He’s like a young Kevin Youkilis!”
-Alfonso Soriano

CARRIE: Jackson has had just 229 at-bats at the Triple-A level, and Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said he likes to see players get a full calendar year at Triple-A.

Or, in the case of Tony Campana, 10-12 full calendar years.

CARRIE: “With potential impact young players, we always try to make decisions based on what’s best for their development,” Epstein said. “There’s a certain set of criteria for advancement at each level of the Minor League system.”


CARRIE: Jackson still has things to work on. And while Byrd is off to a rough start (2-for-31), it’s a little early to be writing him off.

Of course, if you want to consider his entire body of work, it’s probably not too early.

Why wasn’t Randy Wells given a shot this spring?

Man, I finally got a question through, and they transposed it wrong. It was supposed to say, “Why wasn’t Randy Wells shot this spring?”

Is he injured? His numbers looked really good yet he didn’t get much work and didn’t make the team. What are we missing?
— David P., Oak Park, Ill.

The fact that we don’t have to watch Randy Wells pitch this year. And that is AWESOME news.

CARRIE: Wells did pitch this spring. The Spring Training stats are a little deceiving because they don’t include games he pitched in the Minor League camp. The difference is that Jeff Samardzija and Chris Volstad were better and showed better command of all their pitches.

And they’re not absolute bedwetters on the mound. At least not that we can tell so far.

CARRIE: If Wells were hurt, he wouldn’t be pitching at Triple-A Iowa.

Slow down there, Nancy Drew.

CARRIE: His job now is to be ready in case the big league club needs help.

Just in case.

CARRIE: Wells knows better than anyone how quick things can change after he was sidelined last April with an injury.


How about a status report on the Cubs’ new Spring Training facility in Mesa? After the voters approved it, I haven’t heard anything.
— R.J. A., Prescott, Ariz.

That’s because only two groups of people actually give a shit about the Cubs’ Spring Training facility: (1) The Chicago Cubs, and (2) isolated Arizona retirees who play out the remainder of their lives in conditioned air.

CARRIE: The Cubs are still finalizing the details of the design and groundbreaking in Mesa, Ariz.

They’re going to trade a new Spring Training facility for Theo Epstein!

CARRIE: — it should be finished in June or July. The plan is still to be ready to go for Spring Training 2014.

That’s the year I predict the Cubs will be back in the playoffs! Of course, I also predicted that they’d win 76 games this year.

I’m a really big fan of Tony Campana.

Do tell!

Is there any new news on him? Or is he even coming back to the Majors?
— Heather W., Chicago

Nah, he got sick of not being able to see over the dugout wall.

CARRIE: Campana is playing at Triple-A Iowa. He didn’t have a great spring (.222), partly because of a wrist injury.

But mostly because he’s just a terrible baseball player.

CARRIE: Will Campana be back? He could. Right now, the Cubs like the versatility they have on the bench with Joe Mather and Blake DeWitt.

Two men who, combined, can somewhat competently cover FOUR positions.

What’s happening with my hometown boy, Hayden Simpson, No. 6 in the 2010 Draft?

As opposed to Hayden Simpson, No. 4 cashier at Dairy Queen. Wait, I may be thinking of the same guy.

I watched him in high school and at Southern Arkansas University and am anxious to see him at Wrigley Field in the future.
— Terry A., Magnolia, Ariz.

Go, Muleriders! No, seriously.

CARRIE: Simpson is pitching for Class A Daytona, and in two starts, he’s given up four earned runs on 12 hits over 10 innings. The right-hander was slowed after he was drafted because of a nasty bout with mononucleosis.

I told him not to make out with the head cheerleader under the bleachers after trigonometry class!

CARRIE: Simpson lost a lot of weight, and it’s taken some time for him to get his strength back.

If Simpson can just find two more virgin sacrifices, he’ll be powerful enough to build his OWN Spring Training facility!