I’ve posted before about how I loathe Spring Training. Part of the reason is because over the last few years, I have checked out on the season around mid-August so by the time Spring Training comes along, I’m just ready for meaningful baseball, but part of it also has to do with the fact that so many of the stories we see in spring are so stupid. Let’s kick off Monday with one of those, which seems to be blown all out of proportion as evidenced by the title of the post on ESPN’s Rumor Central “Jackson on the outs in Chicago?”

Edwin Jackson made a start on Friday. The result was less than stellar. After the game, Jackson mentioned that all of the pitches he threw during the game were fastballs. He wanted to work on his fastball and so that’s all he threw. Then we read:

“It’s something where I’ll probably talk to him and have a conversation about it and clarify what the process was,” Renteria said. “That doesn’t hurt. It doesn’t hurt anybody to just talk about it.”

This is the kind of garbage that drives me up the wall. The guy wanted to work on his fastball. The games are meaningless, so let him do what he needs to do to get ready.

James Russell is apparently close to being able to make his spring training debut this week. He’s been dealing with a dead arm this spring. Could that be from the 4,387 appearances he’s made over the last two years? I’d guess that might have something to do with it. Russell is penciled in for a bullpen spot on the opening day roster. We discussed the roster in great detail last Monday on VFTB radio and it figures to be another point of discussion tonight as we now have a little more ammunition for our guns.

Personally, I think the pen is going to be a strength this year for the team. There are so many options for who to plug in there, most of them with the ability to throw hard. It’s a far cry from last year’s pen that can be considered one of the biggest weaknesses of the team.

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids and helps people protect their assets as an independent insurance agent. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail