I was at the Phillies/Tigers game today in which Jackson started. From my seat, I could not tell whether his stuff was good or how close to the plate he was, but his first 5 pitches were balls followed by 3 strikes for the K, a fly ball out from Jenkins and another walk to Howard. Then, boom. John Mayberry Jr. creamed one into the left field stands. Then another 4 pitch walk, a trip to the mound and finally another strikeout.
His next two innings were much better although there were a couple of hard hit fly balls, one of which might be called a line drive. His last pitch of the day struck out Ryan Howard.
He seemed to throw more off-speed pitches than I remember. In that first inning, he froze Jenkins with one for strike two before getting the fly ball out.
Although I think the trade was both necessary and a smart deal for the Rays, and although I was on the Sonnanstine side of the interminable debate, I still like Jackson. He is a hard working, intelligent young man with enormous talent. I am dubious about him becoming a really successful pitcher, but still think it is possible, if unlikely.