The Tribe Tracker monitors players across the Pittsburgh Pirates organization who appeared in games with the Indianapolis Indians during the 2013 season, as well as prospects who may suit up for the Tribe during the 2014 campaign.
Visit IndyIndians.com for the complete list and set of player capsules!
Capsule 7: 1/14
This week features newly signed right-hander Jay Jackson, a former top prospect who converted from a starting pitcher into a closer during the Winter Leagues.
RHP — Jay Jackson
Newly signed right-hander Jay Jackson is quickly validating his rating by Baseball America as a former top prospect of the Cubs system. The 26-year-old reliever, who could potentially compete for the Indians’ closer role in 2014, converted all 10 save opportunities this offseason while posting a perfect 0.00 ERA in 20.1 innings of work for Venados de Mazatlan of the Pacific Mexican League. He recorded 19 strikeouts to only five walks and limited opposing batters to just 13 total base hits through his 17 appearances with Venados. Jackson also stranded each of his first eight inherited runners before falling victim to an unearned run in his final outing of the offseason.
Prior to his action in the Winter Leagues, Jackson posted a combined 4-7 record with a 3.53 ERA (41 ER in 104.2) and 93 strikeouts in 21 games (18 starts) last season between Double-A Jacksonville and Triple-A New Orleans of the Miami Marlins system. The Tribe’s potential future closer made 18 straight starts to begin the 2013 campaign before moving to the bullpen for his final three appearances of the year. Following his transition out of the rotation, the right-hander closed out the season with 6.0 consecutive shutout innings over his last two outings from Aug. 9-11.
Jackson finds himself in a potential late-inning opportunity for Indianapolis following a recent trade which sent former Tribe closer Vick Black to the New York Mets. Though Jackson has been used primarily as a starter throughout his six-year professional career, the righty may be shifting roles based on his relief duties during Winter League play. He has yet to see action at the Major League level and will enter the 2014 campaign boasting a career record of 38-45 with a 4.42 ERA (330 ER in 672.0 IP) and 584 strikeouts in 153 Minor League games (107 starts).