Maddon continues to stress importance of pitchers' fielding

After Jackson's throwing error, Cubs righty gives up three-run homer

Maddon continues to stress importance of pitchers' fielding

MESA, Ariz. -- Edwin Jackson's next spring start will be Saturday against the Brewers. Sometime before that game is played, Jackson and the rest of the Cubs pitchers will likely get some extra fielding work done.

The Padres had a runner at first and nobody out in the second inning Monday against Jackson when Yonder Alonso hit a comebacker. Jackson threw to second to start a double play, but bounced the ball into shallow center for an error. Will Middlebrooks followed with a three-run homer.

"Why do I preach pitcher's defense so hard? That was pitching defense 101," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "If he makes that play, there's two outs, nobody on, and he finishes, and hopefully feels wonderful about himself. But he threw the ball away and you have first and second, things sped up on him a bit, and then it's a bad day."

Jackson is a contender for the opening in the rotation, and will continue to start this spring, Maddon said.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.