ST. LOUIS -- Mike Olt leads the Cubs and all National League rookies with eight home runs. He's the 13th Cubs rookie in the last 82 seasons to belt that many by the All-Star break.
And on Tuesday, he was not in the lineup.
Manager Rick Renteria explained he was going with matchups against the Cardinals, starting Luis Valbuena at third because he was 5-for-14 against Adam Wainwright entering Tuesday, and four of those hits were doubles. Olt has never faced the right-hander.
It's all part of the development process for Olt, who has platooned with Valbuena this year, facing more left-handed pitchers than right-handers.
"We're still mixing and matching and will continue to do so until we see where they're all at," Renteria said of his roster. "The way we balance it out, everybody's getting at-bats, everybody's playing. To this point, it's advantageous to us to get them in the lineup at some point and let them play."
Olt may be providing some thump in the lineup, but he's only batting .187 and has 32 strikeouts in 91 at-bats. Renteria said there will be a day when Olt is getting regular playing time.
"We're growing to that point," Renteria said. "His confidence level continues to grow, and once we all feel satisfied with where he's at, then we'll make that determination and adjustment. Right now, we're happy with everything he's doing."
Only a week ago, Renteria was being asked if they were considering sending Olt to the Minor Leagues. Then, he homered in three straight games from Wednesday through Friday, including a grand slam on Thursday against the White Sox. He now has belted four homers in his last six games.
"The fans want to see everybody succeed, they want them all to do well, and rightfully so," Renteria said. "As we continue to move forward and these guys continue to develop who they are as players, their spots in the lineup continue to increase and obviously their performances hopefully reflect that they're playing more and hopefully their production is good."
Told that fans just want to see more home runs, Renteria laughed.
"Everybody likes the long ball," he said.
Jackson's hard work, luck have kept him healthy
ST. LOUIS -- In 11-plus seasons, Edwin Jackson has been on the disabled list once in his Major League career, back in 2004, and that was because of a forearm strain. The Cubs right-hander has noticed the recent rash of pitchers sidelined with elbow problems and needing Tommy John surgery, most recently the Marlins' Jose Fernandez.
How does Jackson stay healthy?
"There isn't a 100 percent way you can prevent somebody from injury," Jackson said. "You can be the healthiest person in the world, and sometimes things happen. I don't know if there is a 100 percent for sure answer. Who knows? I don't think I've done anything super special. I work hard, but half of it is being lucky and blessed as well."
Jackson said he didn't pitch a lot in high school, and he now makes sure he gets his arm loose and throws every day. The durable right-hander has reached at least 175 innings in six seasons.
"Dudes are throwing hard nowadays," he said. "There's always a chance for injury. The only thing you can do is work hard and try to be as preventative as possible. There's no for sure answer to stop someone from getting hurt."
Tickets for Epstein's fundraiser on sale Saturday
ST. LOUIS -- Tickets go on sale Saturday for the third-annual Hot Stove Cool Music Chicago benefit concert June 20 at Wrigleyville's Metro, which will celebrate baseball, music and giving back, and feature Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein and Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine.
Epstein will be joined by Hall of Fame baseball writer Peter Gammons and Cubs broadcaster Len Kasper in the event, which is presented by Victory Park Capital and Giordano's.
Proceeds from the event will benefit Cubs Charities and Epstein's Foundation To Be Named Later. The event will feature ensemble performances by Morello and Chicago Hot Stove All-Stars Jimmy Chamberlin (Smashing Pumpkins), John Stirratt (Wilco), Scott Lucas (Local H), Eddie "King" Roeser (Urge Overkill), Jered Gummere (Ponys), Gary Klebe (Shoes), singer Jennifer Hall and Tributosaurus members Matt Spiegel, Curt Morrison and Jon Paul.
Boston Hot Stove All-Stars will include members of The Upper Crust and The Gravel Pit, alongside Gammons. WXRT's morning DJ Lin Brehmer will serve as the emcee.
This year's event will pay homage to Chicago's great history of music, including rock, blues, soul and power pop ballads that reach back to the 1950s. Sets will focus on songs by bands and artists with a Chicago connection.
Tickets go on sale Saturday at noon CT at www.metrochicago.com and the Metro Box Office, 3730 North Clark Street, Chicago. General admission tickets are $50, with no service fees for cash purchases. VIP tickets will also be available at www.ftbnl.org.
The event will feature some special guests and a live and silent auction featuring signed sports memorabilia and entertainment experiences.
The biannual event has raised more than $5.5 million for Theo and Paul Epstein's Foundation To Be Named Later, which was founded in 2005 as a means to create positive opportunities for disadvantaged children and families.
• On Monday, the Cardinals needed infielder Daniel Descalso to take the mound and get the final out of their 17-5 loss to the Cubs. The last time the Cubs used a position player to pitch was Aug. 27, 2012, when Joe Mather did so against the Brewers in a 15-4 Chicago loss.
Who would Renteria use if he needed a position player to sub?
"That's something I'll muddle through during the ballgame before I decide who it is," Renteria said.
Unfortunately, the Cubs don't have Casper Wells in the system any more. Wells, an outfielder who was in the Cubs' Spring Training camp as a non-roster invitee, pitched twice in relief last season for two different teams. He pitched one inning for the White Sox and two-thirds of an inning for the Pirates, both coming in lopsided games.
• Top prospect Kris Bryant drove in four runs, including three on his Southern League-leading 11th home run, and Stephen Bruno had four hits in Double-A Tennessee's 10-7 win over Jackson on Tuesday. Bryant now has 33 RBIs, tops in the league. Jose Veras, on a Minor League rehab assignment, started and threw one inning.
• Albert Almora, another highly regarded prospect, helped Class A Daytona beat Charlotte, 12-0. Almora was 3-for-5 with three doubles and four RBIs.
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.