Jay Jackson (STAFF PHOTO/PAM DAVIS)
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Cubs pitching prospect Jay Jackson was chosen as a Southern League All-Star after going 4-3 with a 3.15 ERA and 61 strikeouts through his first 12 starts at Class AA Tennessee. Jackson, 21, has moved quickly since being selected in the ninth-round of the 2008 draft from Furman.
Jackson pitched the fourth inning in the North Division’s 7-0 shutout victory over the South Division in Monday’s All-Star Game at Regions Park. He threw eight pitches, six strikes, and recorded one strikeout. We caught up with Jackson after the game:
Q: How does it feel to play in your first all-star game?
A: It feels great. I’m just glad I got the opportunity to be out here.
Q: They use a DH here, but I know you like to hit. Are you disappointed that you didn’t get a chance to do that?
A: No, I’m not disappointed. I’m just happy to be out here with a great group of guys and be able to come out here and have fun. I like getting to hang out with everybody and just enjoy the time we have together.
Q: How do you think you performed (Monday)?
A: I think I did OK. I got behind [Birmingham’s Stefan] Gartrell. But I’m just out here for one inning and I’m just trying to make the best pitches I can.
Q: It seemed like the first two hitters you faced made good contact and then you dominated the third hitter. Was there a difference in your approach?
A: There definitely wasn’t a difference. The first hitter was [Mobile’s Sean] Coughlin and I threw him a two-seamer away and got strike one. Then I threw him a changeup away that I don’t think he hit too hard ;he kind of put it in a decent spot. Josh Bell made a good play. The second hitter I just kind of fell behind. I got behind him, but I threw some good pitches there and he just grounded out.
Q: The last time we spoke, you mentioned something about skipping Triple-A. Do you still think that is a possibility?
A: I honestly have no idea what the cards hold for me right now. I’m just trying to go out there and pitch. Wherever they want to send me or whatever they want to do with me. If they want to keep me in Tennessee or move me somewhere, it’s up to them.