HomeTrending MLB NewsTwins designate struggling right-hander for assignment

Twins designate struggling right-hander for assignment

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The Twins have designated right-hander Jay Jackson for assignment, per a club announcement. Right-hander Caleb Boushley was recalled in the corresponding move.

Jackson, 36, signed a $1.5M guarantee with the Twins in February but has struggled badly across 17 appearances this season. In 22 1/3 innings of work, Jackson has posted a 6.75 ERA with a 4.49 FIP despite a solid 24% strikeout rate and a decent 8.3% walk rate. 

Much of the damage against Jackson has come via the long ball, as the veteran has already allowed a whopping four homers this season. While an unbelievably low 47.2% strand rate in conjunction with those solid strikeout and walk rates suggest Jackson may have been a victim of some bad luck (as demonstrated by his 3.49 SIERA and 3.74 xERA), those early season struggles were nonetheless enough for the Twins to make a change.

The 36-year-old’s professional career began all the way back in 2008, when he was a ninth-round pick by the Cubs. Jackson eventually made his big league debut as a member of the Padres but pitched just 34 2/3 innings in the majors between his 2015 debut and the 2021 season, instead having spent the majority of his career to that point pitching in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball. 

He posted excellent results during his time overseas with a 2.16 ERA and a 27.4% strikeout rate, and made his way back to the big leagues in 2021 as a member of the Giants. Jackson managed just 52 2/3 innings of work at the big league level from 2021-23, but posted solid results when on the mound with a 2.73 ERA and 4.07 FIP in 50 appearances.

Those strong previous results in conjunction with his solid peripherals in Minnesota could make Jackson and interesting target for teams in need of relief pitching, though it’s possible no team will want to assume the remainder of his contract with the Twins by claiming him off waivers. Should Jackson clear waivers, he’d have the right to reject an outright assignment and elect free agency, although he would forfeit his guaranteed salary in doing so.

Replacing Jackson on the Twins’ active roster is Boushley, who will be returning to the majors after a single-game cup of coffee with the Brewers last season. Boushley’s lone MLB appearance went fairly well as he posted a 3.86 ERA while striking out five 2 1/3 innings of work, although he did surrender two walks and a home run during the outing. 

Boushley found himself outrighted off the 40-man roster in Milwaukee this past offseason and elected free agency before signing with the Twins on a minor league deal back in January. Boushley’s contract was selected by the Twins earlier this month, although he did not make it into an MLB game before being optioned back to the minors. 

The right-hander has pitched to a decent 4.54 ERA in eight starts at the Triple-A level and figures to offer the Twins a long relief option out of the bullpen going forward.

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