The Pittsburgh Pirates head to Dunedin to take on the Toronto Blue Jays. Several starters are going to make the trip, but the big news on the pitching front will be Jay Jackson getting the start. Besides the fact that Jackson has the most bad ass picture from The Pirates 2014 Photo Day, not much else stands out as impressive.
The 6’1″ right hander is in Pirates camp on a minor league free agent deal. Jackson has spent his career in the minor leagues. The 26-year old has five seasons at the Triple-A level, mainly for the Iowa Cubs. The numbers at the AAA level aren’t very impressive–421.1 innings pitched, 472 hits and 316 strikeouts.
Jackson has a low-90s four seam fastball and has also been mixing in his high 80′s two seamer. Last season, the Cubs let Jackson go at the end of Spring Training and the Florida Marlins immediately signed the Furman alum. With the Fish, Jackson pitched in the Double-A rotation where he was effective and was then promoted to Triple-A at the end of the year working 25 innings with a 7.2K/9.
@rumbunter Jackson pitched 20.1 innings of Winter ball in Mexico this off-season: 0.00 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, .186 BAA
— John Dreker (@JohnDreker) March 5, 2014
We felt the Pirates were interested in using him in a relief role, but this spot start is certainly interesting and will be an opportunity for Jackson to show that he is more than just Double-A depth.
Starling Marte will bat leadoff and play left field. Chris Dickerson will be in center. Neil Walker will be the designated hitter and bat third.
Gaby Sanchez is back in the lineup at first base and batting cleanup. Sanchez had tweaked his knee on a TOOTBLAN and hasn’t been in the lineup since. Batting fifth will be Travis Snider in right field.
Brent Morel will play third base and bat in the sixth spot. Tony Sanchez is going to catch starter Jackson. Josh Harrison has been hitting well and will play second base. Clint Barmes will grab the nine spot and play shortstop.
Rob Biertempfel tweeted out the lineup this morning.