In his seventh big league season, Austin Jackson maintained a fairly prominent role in the White Sox outfield prior to a string of injuries. He got off to a horrific start to the season, but picked things up in May by getting on base at a .347 clip. Things went south quickly, however, as he was sidelined with a bout of turf toe in late May, and then suffered a torn meniscus just two games after returning from his prior ailment, putting an end to his season. With his season cut short, Jackson was forced to head into free agency with a middling .254/.318/.343 to go with no home runs and a career-low two stolen bases. The 2010 Rookie of the Year runner-up certainly seems to be on the decline, although he could work his way into a reserve outfielder role with the Indians after signing an NRI deal with them over the offseason. His fantasy value is limited until he can work his way into a semi-prominent role with Cleveland, though.
Jackson went 1-for-3 with a solo home run, his first of the season, in Tuesday's loss to Houston. Jackson's third-inning blast off 2015 AL Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel was the outfielder's first homer since Oct. 1, 2015. Over his last three games, the veteran is 4-for-9 with three extra-base hits. Jackson continues to provide a high level of production that was completely unexpected when he signed a minor-league deal before spring training. However, because he's part of a platoon, the 30-year-old is best suited for daily leagues.
Jackson is in the lineup Wednesday against the White Sox, batting ninth and patrolling center field. Tyler Naquin has struggled against left-handed pitching in his career, and with lefty Derek Holland toeing the rubber for the south-siders, Jackson will slot into the lineup for a start.
Jackson went 2-for-4 with an RBI and scored a run in his Indians debut Tuesday versus the Rangers. Hitting from the cellar in Tuesday's lineup, Jackson showed why he made the team after being a non-roster invitee to spring training. Tyler Naquin, the Tribe's regular center fielder, has struggled against southpaws in his career. With lefty Martin Perez on the hill, manager Terry Francona penciled in Jackson and showed that he trusts the veteran to fill a routine roll. If the 30-year-old can routinely produce in a platoon role, then he may earn more playing time than what was originally expected.
Jackson is in the lineup for Tuesday's game with the Rangers, batting ninth and playing center field. It seems the Indians decided to give Tyler Naquin the day off with left-hander Martin Perez taking the mound for Texas, leaving Jackson as the beneficiary for playing time. That being said, manager Terry Francona seemed to want to play Naquin against lefties more this season, so Tuesday's lineup may not actually be the signal of a platoon moving forward, which doesn't bode all that well for Jackson's playing time.
The Indians announced Sunday that Jackson won a spot on the Indians' Opening Day roster. Jackson, who was attending camp as a non-roster invitee, will now be due a one-year, $1.5 million salary after making the club. He's likely to serve as a reserve outfielder if Michael Brantley (shoulder) and Lonnie Chisenhall (shoulder) prove fully healthy when the season begins, but could see regular starts against left-handed pitching.
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