Chicago Cubs’ starter Edwin Jackson had another rough start yesterday giving up four earned runs in five innings in a 13-3 loss to the San Diego Padres. In his two starts since the all-star break Jackson has allowed seven earned runs in 10.1 innings; something needs to change. There have been rumors that the Cubs have tried shopping the 30 year old starter but with little success. It is time that the Cubs, themselves, did something to shake up Jackson’s routine, something to break his rhythm and start rebuilding his confidence.
Seeing as how sending Jackson down and trading him are two unrealistic options (for a number of reasons), the best course of action may be to move him to the bullpen and/or give him a start off. Moving Jackson to the bullpen could be beneficial because it would give him a set goal; get these three outs. Often times starting pitchers can get overwhelmed because there is no set goal for their outing beyond “win the game”. Moving Jackson to the bullpen could help him focus in and allow his stuff (which is actually very good) to work for him.
Another option is to skip Jackson in the rotation. Give Dallas Beeler or Tsuyoshi Wada a spot start and allow Jackson to clear his head. Edwin Jackson is now 5-11 with a 5.68 ERA; there is no way he is not banging his head against a wall trying to figure out what is wrong. But sometimes the best way to find is to stop searching. Taking some time away from the game (or knowing that you are not going to pitch) can do wonders for players. Maybe taking a day off and working on his golf swing would help Edwin flush all his bad thoughts.
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