The term journeyman pitcher doesn’t quite say it for Edwin Jackson. The Chicago Cubs number two starter has played for eight teams over an 11 year career including two in the last three seasons. Last year he pitched for the well respected Washington Nationals team and the Cubs ran to pick him up hoping to get the good side of Jackson.
The Cubs point to his last spring outing where he gave up a few runs but after a particular homer, retired 9 of 10 batters and struck out the side two times. There in that game is the good and bad potential of Jackson. The Cubs badly need the dominant type of showing from Jackson not just today, but all season long. It would be crucially important for Jackson to show up in a big way for this team.
With Jeff Samardzija very obviously prepared to have a dominating season as the Cubs number one pitcher, Jackson’s role becomes that much more important. If Jackson can get his good stuff to the mound eight times out of ten, the Cubs would have a potentially dominating top two of their pitching staff.
There are great teams this season that can only boast of two dominant starters. It doesn’t guarantee anything one way or the other, but the Cubs could go from losing a ton of games a year ago to contending at least for most of the season for a wild card this season. Samardzija followed by one or two good showings from others can turn this franchise around this season, not in three years. Jackson is up first to see if he can continue the momentum that Samardzija gave the team.