The Atlanta Braves bullpen struggles have continued despite their trade deadline acquisitions. Leaving the team without a closing option and wonder if Luke Jackson is the answer?
Luke Jackson has spent the majority of the last two months closing games for the Atlanta Braves. It has been far from smooth but Jackson has converted the majority (18-of-25) of save chances and been the victim of some very poor luck on balls in play.
When the Braves acquired Shane Greene and Mark Melancon Jackson was thought to be an afterthought in closing situations.
After the Marlins series that may no longer be the case. As of the second game into the Marlins series Melancon was the closer for the Braves, after two very shaky performances, however, he wasn’t available for the final game of the series.
The Braves were clinging to a one run lead and turned the save chance over to Luke Jackson. Jackson converted the save after a bit of drama and gave the Braves the series split.
Now it is fair to wonder if Jackson is once again the clear option in the 9th inning? One thing we do know for Atlanta, there aren’t any good options. Jackson may be the best option until Greene or Melancon can prove they can show even a bit of consistency.
It seems only a matter of time until Greene re-discovers his form and is once again the closer. Until then Jackson is the team’s best option as painful as it may be. He has the stuff and it is unlikely the bad luck he has had will continue to haunt him.
There is now plenty of reason for concern come postseason time for Atlanta. They seemingly have zero arms they can count on to get consistent outs against other postseason teams, not a recipe for success.