Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers have a deep group of right-handed pitching prospects that includes Bobby Miller, Gavin Stone, Ryan Pepiot and Michael Grove, which has made Andre Jackson a somewhat forgotten option.
Jackson made his MLB debut during the 2021 season but saw limited action in just three games. The 2022 season didn’t present him with much more of an opportunity as he only pitched in four games.
Still, Jackson has been effective when up with the Dodgers, posting a 2.11 ERA in 21.1 innings over the past two years. He still has a lot to prove before becoming a pitcher the Dodgers can rely on, but so far he is making the most of his chances in Spring Training.
Manager Dave Roberts spoke highly of Jackson this week and his continued improvement, via SportsNet LA:
“Andre continues to impress. He’s just got that air of confidence right now, clarity, and with a lot of conviction. The fastball velocity, changeup, he was efficient, got a nice double play to get through the third inning for him. Really good to see.”
Along with Jackson, Grove and Pepiot have also been putting together an impressive Spring Training. With Tony Gonsolin likely opening the season on the injured list, all three of them conceivably are options to fill his spot in the rotation.
Pepiot should be considered the favorite to fill in as the fifth starter due to his previous experience, pedigree and stuff, but Roberts believes each of three pitchers are taking significant steps forward in their development:
“I just think things are slowing down for each one of those guys. I think they’re a lot more comfortable and they’re kind of figuring out who they are as Major League pitchers. I’ve got a front-row seat to watch their growth, and it’s been a lot of fun.”
The Dodgers will rely on all of their young pitchers throughout the 2023 season due to a rotation that has less veteran depth than they usually have. But if Spring Training is any indication, the club is in a good spot with a lot of talented arms in the mix.
Andre Jackson made MLB history
Jackson’s first appearance for the Dodgers was out of the bullpen and wound up being record-setting.
Jackson became the first player in the modern era of MLB history with at least five strikeouts and four-plus walks while not allowing a run in a relief appearance for his debut.
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