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Edwin Jackson sidestepped game plan, threw all fastballs on Friday

Mar 8, 2014, 6:15 PM EDT

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Edwin Jackson gave up three runs on four hits in his start against the Indians on Friday, but that wasn’t the shocking part of what happened. Unbeknownst to manager Rick Renteria and pitching coach Chris Bosio, Jackson threw all fastballs in his outing — 50 of them.

Via MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat:

“I think maybe, as we talk about fastball command, maybe he was thinking, ‘I’m going to try to hit the spots,’” Renteria said. “He got into a little trouble yesterday and he had some elevated pitches and some pulled pitches. I think you have to kind of allow some flexibility in what he’s trying to do. In his mind’s eye, he had a particular idea of what he wanted to do and he did it for three innings.”

Was Renteria surprised at Jackson’s game plan?

“I saw a lot of fastballs,” Renteria said. “I’ll just say that I noticed it.”

According to FanGraphs, Jackson threw fastballs at his highest rate since 2009. Additionally, his fastball velocity was at its lowest since 2005 with the Dodgers.

Hitters last season posted a .370 weighted on-base average on Jackson’s fastball. For a nifty comparison, Jose Bautista posted a .372 wOBA last season, so hitters essentially were like Bautista against Jackson’s heaters. One can understand the right-hander’s insistence on improving it.

  1. sfm073 - Mar 8, 2014 at 8:00 PM

    This is what spring training is for, unfortunately for the cubs Jackson isn’t a very good pitcher during the regular season.

  2. luz56 - Mar 8, 2014 at 8:35 PM

    Jackson is in mid season form already…..

  3. bostonboresme - Mar 8, 2014 at 10:20 PM

    This is hilarious.

  4. dowhatifeellike - Mar 9, 2014 at 12:27 AM

    That’s a great way to work on your fastball and also get cut.

    • gloccamorra - Mar 9, 2014 at 3:52 PM

      With that contract, he won’t get cut, but sportswriters should have noticed the steam coming off Renteria’s head. There will be a conference in the manager’s office today.

  5. yourcubreporter - Mar 9, 2014 at 10:49 AM

    Coming off a very disappointing 2013, I’m hoping he is improving his control and preventing early injuries… I may be optimistic, but I see him fulfilling the role the Cubs paid him for.. Time will tell though, won’t it?

    @yourcubreporter

    • karlkolchak - Mar 9, 2014 at 12:11 PM

      Just a hint, “reporters” are by nature supposed to be skeptical and not shills for those the cover.

      Jackson has a long track record of disappointing every team he has ever pitched for, and now he’s pushing 30.

      • yourcubreporter - Mar 10, 2014 at 1:23 AM

        Never said the guy was the second coming of Christ… just said that he was going to have a better 2014 than these trolls are saying. Law of averages says so.

        And I hope you finally crack that vampire case, Karl. Us “reporters” gotta stick together!

  6. professor59 - Mar 9, 2014 at 3:08 PM

    The only thing unusual about it is that he didn’t tell his manager. Otherwise, it’s a common spring occurrence.

    • gloccamorra - Mar 9, 2014 at 3:57 PM

      Thanks to Edwin Jackson, the Cubs players are going to find out Rick Renteria isn’t always the nice guy he seems to be. It’s fortunate for the Cubs to learn in Spring Training why Renteria beat out that good looking guy Brad Ausmus.

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