Edwin Jackson to the Bullpen and Other Bullets

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Edwin Jackson to the Bullpen and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

edwin jackson featureI couldn’t tell you exactly when it happened, but I could tell you that getting a particularly squirmy Little Boy out of the bathtub was the tipping point. My back is jacked. It’s that lower back soreness and stiffness that not only inhibits your normal movement (at least pain-free movement), but it also hurts when you move your neck forward and backward (but, like, my neck feels fine – it’s just all the way down at the very base of my back). So that sucks. I don’t really have a point here, I just had to complain to somebody.

  • Prior to his 0.2 inning outing against the Dodgers last week – his first since returning from a lat strain (which followed a woeful season) – Edwin Jackson was scheduled to start one more game before the season ended. After that outing, just about anyone could have guessed that the start wasn’t coming anymore, and, indeed, it is not. Jackson has been shifted to the bullpen, and we’ll see if he actually makes it into a game before the season ends. There is probably a “why not” element to his getting an appearance, but it would still strike me as a mild surprise. There are just four games left, after all.
  • The more important question is the long-term one: can the Cubs move Jackson this offseason for minimal contract savings or in a bad contract swap? If not, will they simply release him? If not, will they move him to the bullpen permanently next season? Jackson has stuff that could play up in the pen, but the Cubs also have a boatload of interesting, quality young relievers that I’m not particularly eager to see displaced (especially if the Cubs go back to a more typical seven-man pen next season, as they probably should).
  • (Setting aside whether I think Jackson could be a useful reliever down the road – because, as I said, there are reasons it might not be a good idea for the Cubs – let me once again blow up one of the illogical reasons to oppose it. The “but he’s got a terrible first inning ERA” argument against Jackson in the bullpen is simply not credible. Pitchers approach the “first” inning fundamentally differently if they are trying to go seven innings, versus trying to get through only that one inning. Velocity plays up. You need only two pitches. You aren’t setting batters up for future at bats. There’s a reason many failed starters become excellent relievers, and it’s not because they all just happened to be good in the first innings of their starts. I’m not offering this is a justification for Jackson in the pen – I’m just saying this is not a particularly convincing reason to oppose it.)
  • Theo Epstein spoke with Jesse Rogers for about 10 minutes in a podcast. There’s not a ton of new information, but Epstein does discuss plate approach and roster construction, generally, a fair bit.
  • Speaking of podcasts, Sahadev Sharma was on the Cespedes Family Barbecast.
  • A fun read in the Chicago Tribune on the founder of Bell’s Brewery making it to every single home game this year.
  • The move to Myrtle Beach is already paying dividends: the Pelicans’ park has been named the best experience in the Carolina League.
  • The interesting way the Pirates are utilizing their 26-year-old quantitative analyst. He travels with the team, and reads more like a part of the coaching staff than a nerd, squirreled away in the dark recesses of some Pittsburgh office, pecking away at a calculator (and wondering why he’s using a calculator instead of, you know, a computer).
  • The lesson here isn’t so much that all Cardinals fans are awful douchebags (some are pleasant people who walk upright and everything), it’s that the things you choose to do at a baseball game – or in life, really – could wind up in video form for all to see and ridicule:


Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.