Jackson, Wood vying for final spot in rotation

One to start, the other likely to be long reliever

Jackson, Wood vying for final spot in rotation

MESA, Ariz. -- Edwin Jackson will make his final spring start on Friday when the Cubs face the D-backs at Chase Field. Will it be his last start of the year?

Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Wednesday he wanted to talk to Jackson and Travis Wood to let them know where they fit on the final 25-man roster. Wood is scheduled to start Saturday against the D-backs.

The club's rotation already includes Jon Lester, Jason Hammel, Jake Arrieta and Kyle Hendricks. Jackson has given up nine earned runs on 19 hits over 15 1/3 innings in five games (four starts) this spring, while Wood has served up nine earned runs on 26 hits over 19 1/3 innings in five starts.

Wood's pinch-hit solo homer

Whoever is not starting will likely be assigned to the bullpen as a long man, Maddon said.

Jackson, who has struggled in two seasons with the Cubs, reported to camp much leaner after spending the winter at what he called a "boot camp" in Arizona. About 20 other players from different teams also participated, including Andre Ethier and Jonny Gomes.

"I called it 'boot camp' because it was a different type of workout," he said.

Jackson on vets, youth, Maddon

Jackson has spent past winters at a facility in Georgia, but this was his first at the Athletes' Performance Institute (API).

"I was in shape before, but now I'm in better shape, different shape," Jackson said. "I kept the same weight, but toned up a little. ... I feel like an athlete again."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.