The Detroit Tigers have had to make countless adjustments to the starting rotation this season due to injuries and now turn to a veteran arm to fill another hole on the mound.
With Jordan Zimmermann being placed on the IL last week, the Detroit Tigers once again have been left scrambling to fill a spot in the starting rotation. For Friday night’s contest against Kansas City, the Tigers look to veteran Edwin Jackson to replace Zimmermann and start on the mound.
The Detroit Tigers signed Jackson, who holds the MLB record for most teams played for, to a minor league deal on July 22nd. Since making his MLB debut in 2003 with the Dodgers, Jackson has played for the: Dodgers, Rays, Tigers, Diamondbacks, White Sox, Cardinals, Nationals, Cubs, Braves, Marlins, Padres, Orioles, Athletics, and Blue Jays. That’s 14 different teams in 17 MLB seasons for Edwin Jackson.
Yes, Jackson has spent time in Detroit already. Back in 2009, he started 33 games for the Tigers posting a 13-9 record and a 3.62 ERA. Jackson also earned the only All-Star selection of his career that year.
Jackson spent 2018 with the Oakland A’s and actually had a pretty solid year. The right-hander started 17 games in Oakland going 6-3 with a 3.33 ERA, not bad for an aging journeyman. He re-signed with the Athletics to begin 2019 but his contract was sold to Toronto in May.
With the Blue Jays this season, Jackson did struggle a bit. The 35-year-old made eight appearances with Toronto, including five starts, and ended up with an 11.12 ERA eventually leading to his release from the Blue Jays on July 19th.
Just a few days later, the Detroit Tigers offered Jackson a minor league contract and the veteran went to Toledo to begin his second stint with the Tigers organization. Jackson started just two games in Toledo, going 0-2 with a 5.87 ERA.
With rather unimpressive numbers in Toledo so far, some fans may be wondering why Detroit is turning to Jackson to fill a spot in the starting rotation rather than giving a younger prospect a shot to prove himself in the big leagues, someone maybe like Kyle Funkhouser. It’s hard to say why the Tigers are making this move, though they have given a few young starters from Toledo a chance this year and not all of them have yielded the best results.
Jackson will go against Brad Keller, who gets the start on the mound for the Royals on Friday night. Keller is just 23 years old and has a 3.95 ERA through 24 starts this year for Kansas City. First pitch is set for 7:10 pm EST on Friday night from the Motor City.