Alex Anthopoulos is one busy guy. Just coming back from his honeymoon 24 hours ago and going through the Aroldis Chapman sweepstakes, the Jays GM completed a deal for Zach Jackson, who was originally drafted by the Jays in the 1st round of 2004 (32nd overall). The deal is for a player to be named later, but it shouldn’t amount to much since the Jays are taking Jackson on to see if they can revamp his approach and get real value out of him. He’ll reportedly being the year in AAA, taking the spot that had been taken up by Mike Maroth in 2009 as the possible plug-in starter when injuries occur.
Zach Jackson is a big boy at 6’5″ and 220 lbs, and is only 26 years old, so he has plenty of time to get better. He has just over 100 IP in MLB so far, but never really got enough time to prove himself and get comfortable. However, even his minors stats are horrible as both lefties and righties are hitting over .305 against him and he had a 6.05 ERA in 2009 overall in AAA. I did find one statistic very odd, however, in that Jackson had a 2.59 ERA in the 5 games he threw during the day, whereas his ERA ballooned to 7.17 in night games. Could it be that his vision is the reason for the downward spiral once the lights are on? I’m not sure if he’s ever has laser eye surgery, but some people get blurred vision after the fact when bright lights are around. It just doesn’t make sense that hitters would hit just .242 against him during the day and .333 against him at night.
Whatever the case, it’s a decent depth move and make-work-project for the Jays who obviously know him very well since they drafted him. It will be interesting to watch his progression in 2010 and see if he can pull a Ricky Romero type turnaround. I wouldn’t bet on it, but weirder things have happened.