Don't panic over Jackson, Vitters

By Brian Bedo - Follow @miCubs and @BrianBedo on Twitter

Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters have both struggled mightily since their recent callups.  However, it's no time to panic, at least not yet.

In seven games, Jackson is just 3-for-24 with a whopping 14 strikeouts.  Jackson was the runaway leader on the PCL strikeout leaderboard, and anyone who thought he'd come up to the bigs and all the sudden strike out as infrequently as Ty Cobb is foolish.  Don't get me wrong, the amount of contact needs to improve drastically, and I think it will.

Earlier this season with Iowa while Jackson was putting up some good numbers, the Cubs tweaked his swing a tad.  While he was having some success with his current hitting stroke, the Cubs thought it might not translate to maximum success at the big league level.  As a result, there were some changes made and it's taken while for Jackson to adjust.  The swing itself is now there but the timing/pitch recognition is still off.  He's late on the fastball and his recognition of offspeed stuff in deep counts needs improvement (A lot of his strikeouts have come in 2-2 or 3-2 counts). The Cubs hoped they could correct this in a swifter pace at the ML level than in Triple-A, and that is one of the reasons he is with the big league club.  

Vitters on the other hand looks a bit more comfortable in the box.  Despite a 2-for-20 start that's plated three runs, Vitters has made more consistent contact but hasn't been able to find any holes (as evident in Monday night's win when Vitters' former minor league teammate Marwin Gonzalez made two diving stops to steal a pair of hits from him).  A .125 BABIP (Batting average on balls in play) also indicates that.  He continues to roll over on pitches on the outer half of the zone, but still at times, he is squaring up the ball.  

One last thought, it's easy with how good Anthony Rizzo is this year to forget how atrocius he was last season.  In a much greater sample size with San Diego in 2011 (153 plate appearances), Rizzo hit an abysmal .141 with a .523 OPS and just one homer.  

I'm not saying neither Jackson and/or Vitters will end up showing the big league promise Rizzo has to date, but it is far too early to judge either of them in limited playing time.