The Oakland Athletics came into the season hoping that Zack Jackson would play a big part in their bullpen. He pitched well when available, but an arm injury ended his season in mid-May.
The A’s acquired Jackson in the 2020 Rule 5 Draft from Toronto.
What were the expectations?
Jackson played a big part in Oakland’s bullpen in 2022 where he appeared in 54 games while posting a 3.00 ERA and a 2.78 FIP in 48 innings. The expectation was that he would again play a big role in the back half of Oakland’s bullpen as a setup man that could possibly see some save opportunities.
Jackson came out of the gate pitching well. He appeared in 19 games and allowed just five runs and struck out 23 over 18 innings. Unfortunately, that was the end of the road for Jackson as he was placed on the injured list with a flexor tendon strain in his right elbow. He was transferred to the 60-day injured list on June 21. He began a rehab assignment on July 26, but made just two appearances for Stockton before he underwent an appendectomy which ended up ending his season.
What went right? What went wrong?
Unlike a lot of the other Oakland relievers that we have recapped, Jackson pitched well when he was healthy and could have been intriguing piece that could have been moved at the deadline for an asset. A flexor tendon is a serious injury, but by all accounts, Jackson was on his way to recovery before undergoing the appendectomy.
Jackson won’t be eligible for arbitration until after the 2025 season and is under team control through 2028. If healthy, he should come into spring training penciled in for a spot in the back half of the team’s bullpen.