Luke Jackson injury: Some ideas to replace him in Braves bullpen

Luke Jackson, Atlanta Braves. (Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)
Luke Jackson, Atlanta Braves. (Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Atlanta Braves are out a key relief pitcher in Luke Jackson, and all of a sudden the Night Shift is shorthanded. What’s the team’s plan to replace him?

Luke Jackson, who had a sub-2 ERA last season for The Night Shift bullpen, is set to miss significant time. The Braves placed Jackson on the 60-day injured list with a UCL issue that could require Tommy John surgery, or something of the like.

Missing Jackson for any period of time is a blow to the Braves bullpen, which up until late this week looked like the best in baseball with the additions of Kenley Jansen and others. Now, they must rebuild.

But how?

Braves: Possible replacements for Luke Jackson

Atlanta’s recent addition of Collin McHugh figures to be key in replacing Jackson. As Dave O’Brien notes in his recent write-up regarding Jackson’s injury, “McHugh had a 1.55 ERA in 64 innings in 2021 for Tampa Bay and joined Jackson as the only righties in the Braves’ core of go-to relievers, not counting closer Kenley Jackson.”

In a corresponding roster move which sent Jackson to the IL, the Braves called up side-arming righty Darren O’Day. While 39 years old, O’Day adds another dependable right-hander to the bullpen, and that surely isn’t by accident. Over his 587 career innings, he holds an ERA of 2.53, despite missing most of 2021 with injuries.

Expect McHugh to do the heavy lifting in replacing a pitcher the caliber of Jackson, stepping into his late-inning role. O’Day, should he prove viable, can be a stable contributor as well.

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