Luke Jackson makes long-awaited return to the mound following TJ surgery
Jun 2, 2023, 10:23 AM | Updated: 10:33 am
(Photo by Suzanna Mitchell/San Francisco Giants/Getty Images)
After last appearing in the 2021 World Series with the Atlanta Braves, Luke Jackson laced up his cleats and took the mound in a Major League Baseball game for the first time in nearly two years on Wednesday afternoon.
The San Francisco Giants right-hander pitched a clean seventh inning, striking out two Pittsburgh Pirates batters during a 9-4 loss at Oracle Park.
While the Giants lost the game, Jackson came away as a winner in this one after completing the long, challenging road of returning from the dreaded Tommy John surgery.
Welcome back, Luke Jackson! pic.twitter.com/7uOIdig72e
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 31, 2023
“You feel like the rehab is never going to end, and you finally get out there, and it’s a little surreal,” Jackson said following his return. “It was awesome to get back out there again.”
Giants manager Gabe Kapler was impressed by Jackson’s debut–one that saw the right-hander top out at 96 miles per hour on his fastball while slinging filthy sliders for strikes during his 11-pitch outing.
“He got chase, he got swings and misses, he was all over the zone, had a good fastball,” Kapler said. “We’re not going to have any issues having him pitch in big moments for us going forward.”
Jackson, 31, should have plenty of high-leverage opportunities going forward as San Francisco works him into a bullpen role.
The World Series champion enjoyed the most successful season of his career during 2021, posting a 1.98 ERA while striking out 70 batters over 63.2 innings pitched for the Braves.
Jackson is expected to be an integral part of the Giants bullpen over the next couple of season as he is in the first year of a two-year, $11 million deal with a club option for 2025.
It was a long road back, but Jackson made it back to the bigs. Now, it’s time to see what he can do in helping this San Francisco pitching staff.
Upcoming San Francisco Giants Schedule
- Friday, June 2nd-Sunday, June 4th – vs. Baltimore Orioles
- Tuesday, June 6th-Thursday, June 8th – @ Colorado Rockies
- Friday, June 9th-Sunday, June 11th – vs. Chicago Cubs
- Monday, June 12th-Wednesday, June 14th – @ St. Louis Cardinals