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Minnesota Twins DFA Struggling Reliever

The Minnesota Twins have designated pitcher Jay Jackson for assignment. No corresponding move has been announced yet. Jackson was DFA’d not even an hour after playing against the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday following another poor performance. The Twins lost that game 7-6 to the Rays. Jackson threw one inning, letting up three earned runs on two hits and one walk. He is the second Twins reliever to be DFA’d this season, after Matt Bowman saw the same fate in April.

Twins DFA Reliever Jay Jackson

Jay Jackson’s Struggles

Jackson is a relief pitcher who recorded a 7.52 ERA in 26 innings this season. Since his last recall from the minors, he had allowed five earned runs and three home runs in six innings pitched. Regarding the tenor of his pitches, it appears he’s throwing his slider as his first pitch and not establishing a fastball. His offspeed pitches are generally strong, but it looks like hitters are just sitting on them recently. The problem with Jackson is that his slider is his now his only go-to pitch. It is nasty, and the bite is great, but if everyone sits on it and he throws it half the time, it will get hit eventually. He’s also pitched more this year than in the past few years.

Why Jackson was DFA’d

Jackson’s DFA was no surprise to fans as he turned a one-run game in the ninth into a four-run game. He now carries a streak of five straight games giving up earned runs. Calling Jackson back up to the majors after three Triple-A outings was a head-scratching move by Minnesota. Coming back up so quickly and surrendering runs in big spots doesn’t do the Twins any favors. The bullpen is officially a concern that must be addressed.

Today’s move is most definitely linked to Jackson’s struggles this season, but the question remains: why did they bring him back up after a week of being sent down to the minors? This season is his worst season overall in terms of ERA. Jackson was coming off a strong season with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2023, sporting a 2.12 ERA in 25 games played, and he only gave up seven earned runs. Jackson was then signed by the Twins as a free agent. However, he has given up 22 earned runs in 20 games played this season.

The Twins saw little choice but to DFA Jay Jackson after losing two games in a row. Going to Jackson in today’s spot was also an interesting move, given that Diego Castillo was another option. Since 2015, Jackson has been with six different clubs. That will likely become seven, assuming another team picks him up.


Photo Credit: © Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports


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