The Milwaukee Brewers have signed right-handed reliever Jay Jackson to a Minor League deal. But can he make the 25-man roster for the upcoming season?
Jay Jackson was once a well-thought of pitching prospect. He cracked the Baseball America Top 100 Prospects in 2010. Coming in at #98 still means he was in the Top 100. After reaching the Majors with the San Diego Padres in 2015, but his career stalled out in the U.S., and he’s spent the last three years in Japan. Has he reinvented himself enough to spend more than six games at the Major League level with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2019?
How did Jackson pitch in Japan?
Jackson was awesome.
In three years with the Hiroshima Carp, Jackson posted a 2.10 ERA in 175 games. In 176 innings in the Japanese Central League, Jackson struck out 192, walked 68, and was tagged for 15 homers.
He never earned the closer’s job in Hiroshima. The Carp have one of the top relievers in the league in Shota Nakazaki, but Jackson did manage to pick up two saves and ton of holds in his time in Japan.
What’s his contract look like?
Jackson is signed to a Minor League deal with an invite to Spring Training. If he makes the Major League roster, he’ll earn $1 million.
What does Jackson throw?
Hard. Jackson throws hard. He features a fastball that sits in the 96-to-97 MPH range, and backs it up with a solid slider.
Can Jackson make the Brewers?
Given the depth that the Milwaukee Brewers have, seeing Jackson crack the 25-man roster would be a challenge. The Brewers have almost every spot in their bullpen spoken for, and several guys already waiting in the wings.
If Jackson makes the Milwaukee Brewers’ 25-man roster, it means two things have occurred. First, Jackson looked fantastic throughout the Spring. However, several relievers expected to make the roster will have either been injured, awful, or both. Names like Junior Guerra, Jacob Barnes, and Matt Albers would have to find a way to NOT make the Opening Day roster for Jackson to have a chance. Albers missing the 25-man roster isn’t that big of a stretch, but the other two names are virtual locks. Jackson has shown that he isn’t the same guy that he was in 2015, but it may not be enough to make the Milwaukee Brewers out of Spring Training. He may have to find another team, or wait for his chance in Triple-A if he wants to make the Majors in 2019.