Jackson posted a 0.00 ERA and 10:3 K:BB through five Grapefruit League innings before spring training was suspended. Generating empty swings has never been Jackson's problem -- he struck out a career-high 106 batters in 72.2 relief innings last year. The 28-year-old opened 2019 as Atlanta's closer and delivered significant fantasy value with 18 saves, nine wins and nine holds, but he'll head into this season fourth at best in the pecking order for saves behind Mark Melancon, Will Smith and Shane Greene, putting a major damper on Jackson's upside.
Jackson agreed to a one-year, $1.825 million deal with the Braves on Friday, avoiding arbitration, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports. This is his first of three years as an arbitration-eligible player. At one point last year Jackson was cruising as the Braves' closer, but he will be hard-pressed to regain that job anytime soon after the additions of Will Smith and Mark Melancon.
Jackson (9-2) earned the win Wednesday after holding the Royals scoreless with four strikeouts across 1.1 innings. The right-hander punched out all four batters faced through the fifth and sixth innings as the Braves took the lead for good. Through 69 appearances this season, Jackson owns a 3.88 ERA and 1.42 WHIP with 18 saves.
Jackson allowed three hits but pitched a scoreless ninth inning to record his 18th save in a 5-4 win over the Marlins. With a one-run lead, Jackson allowed three hits but worked his way out of it with an outfield assist from Ronald Acuna on the first single of the inning. Despite the arrival of Shane Greene and Mark Melancon via trades and their recent tryouts as closer, Jackson has allowed no runs in his last five appearances and Greene and Jackson's failures, could continue in the role. The righty has a 3.67 ERA through 54 innings this season.
Jackson will transition to a setup role following the acquisition of Shane Greene, 680 The Fan Atlanta reports. This comes as no surprise, as Jackson has been shaky all season (17-for-24 in save chances with a 3.96 ERA and 1.42 WHIP in 50 innings) while Greene owns an impressive 1.18 ERA, 0.87 WHIP and 43:12 in 38 innings on the year.
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