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Maddon not ready to pull Jackson yet
Struggling pitcher will stay in rotation - for now - despite 0-8 record.
By MARC TOPKIN
Published June 16, 2007
DENVER - With an 0-8 record, an 8.20 ERA and an astonishing 107 baserunners allowed in 522/3 innings, RHP Edwin Jackson has given the Devil Rays numerous reasons to drop him from the rotation.
But manager Joe Maddon said the Rays still see enough potential good in Jackson and the 23-year-old will make his next start Monday in Arizona, and that that won't necessarily be his last chance.
"I don't want to attach any kind of ultimatum or whatever, " Maddon said. "There's no attachments."
Jackson, whom the Rays can't send to the minors without exposing to waivers since he is out of options, welcomed the extended opportunity.
"They have the confidence to run me back out there, now it's up to me to show them it's not a mistake, " he said.
Even though Jackson hasn't won in 12 starts this year (or since September 2005 overall) and has the highest ERA of all major-leaguers who worked at least 50 innings, Maddon said he has pitched well at times.
"He's had some really good outings, some tough outings, " Maddon said. "You look back at his game log, there's some nice six-inning, six-innings-plus performances with nine punchouts. ... (He's) a young man with a tremendous ceiling about him. So it hasn't all been bad. We have a tendency to focus on the bad all the time."
Jason Hammel, who worked 62/3 solid innings after Jackson lasted only eight batters on Wednesday, is likely to be available in relief again and poised to eventually take Jackson's place.
ROCCO REHAB: CF Rocco Baldelli, out since mid May with a left hamstring strain, is scheduled to start a rehab assignment with Triple-A Durham on Sunday and could rejoin the Rays as soon as June 22.
Baldelli went 4-for-5 in an extended spring game and played four innings in the outfield.
A QUICKIE: The Rays saw only three pitches from Rodrigo Lopez in the fifth inning, and one Akinori Iwamura hit for a single. Then Brendan Harris grounded into a double play and Carl Crawford flied out.
It was at least the second time the Rays went down on three pitches; previously in the fifth inning against Cleveland on Sept. 29, 2005, with Jonny Gomes, Alex Gonzalez and Toby Hall doing the honors.
SONNY'S DAY: RHP Andy Sonnanstine said he continues to be impressed with the quality of major-league hitters and was "a little bit surprised by the amount of success I had in Miami, " but he doesn't plan to make any changes in his approach for what will be his third start tonight.
MINOR MATTERS: RHP Doug Waechter, recovering from October shoulder surgery, will begin a rehab assignment with the Class A Hudson Valley (N.Y.) team that begins play Tuesday. Argentinian knuckleballer Diego Echevarria was also assigned to the Renegades. ... Triple-A Durham added veteran minor-league C Michel Hernandez. ... RHP Wade Townsend, the 2005 first-round pick, gave up five home runs in five innings and dropped to 4-5, 4.79 at Class A Columbus (Ga.). ... Double-A Montgomery 3B Evan Longoria snapped a six-game 0-for-23 streak.
MISCELLANY: Delmon Young hit his eighth homer, the first on the road since April 15. ... Ty Wigginton, on a nine-game hitting streak (15-for-31), is up to .272. ... The Rays are 0-4 at Coors Field.