Last night Edwin Jackson pitched about as well as he ever had. He pitched 4 1/3 innings giving up 7 hits and 2 runs, he even recorded a hit. He has got to be the single most frustrating player to root for in baseball. While other players may pitch a great game every once in a while, Jackson seems to throw them when he wants to. It’s almost like watching Jose Lima’s career all over again.
He came up with the Dodgers in 2003 as a 19 year old phenom. He had flashes of greatness over those first few years. You never knew if he was going to strikeout the side or just implode. Eventually, like many other teams that have since run into this mess, the Dodgers got tired of his inconsistency and traded him the the Rays. He was only 21 when they traded him. He had a repeat performance in Tampa until they traded him to the Tigers in 2008. Since then he has been a traveling road show pitching for Arizona, Toronto, Chicago and currently with the Cardinals. He still only 27.
However he is a 27 year old with a lot of mileage on that arm of his. To date his has thrown in almost 1100 MLB innings. He has started 173 games and has a record of 60-60 to show for it. Amazingly though, he is going to be a sought after free agent, mainly because of his age and the fact his agent is Scott Boras, who could sell ice to Eskimos. With so many teams needing pitching, he could literally end up anywhere. I will say though, when it’s a big game he tends to come through. I just wish we could see this kind of pitching during the regular season.
So far this year he is a combined 12-9 with a 3.79 ERA (almost a full point below is average), and 148 strikeouts in 200 innings pitched. For him, that is a great season. Look for him to be a $8 – $10 million a year guy, especially if he keeps pitching well in the post season. As for his hobby value, his autographs usually run in the $1 – $3 range on eBay. For someone who is about as consistent as AJ Burnette, he might not be a welcome addition to your collection. However since I have followed his career since he was 18, I feel like he’s a must have for my collection no matter how much he irritates me because of his inconsistent ways.
Any inconsistent pitchers or players you follow? Do they just break your heart every time they have a bad outing?