The Giants are reinstating right-hander Luke Jackson from the injured list, reports Evan Webeck of the San Jose Mercury News. The righty will be making his first appearance since the 2021 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in April of 2022. Infielder David Villar will be optioned to Triple-A Sacramento in an associated active roster move, reports Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area (Twitter link). Jackson was on the 60-day injured list, so the club will still need to make a corresponding move to put him back onto the 40-man roster.
Jackson was an effective middle innings arm for the Braves before the Tommy John procedure. While he’d struggled in the abbreviated 2020 season, he posted sub-4.00 ERA seasons in the two surrounding full schedules. That included a sparkling 1.98 ERA through 63 2/3 innings in 2021. Jackson punched out a solid 26.8% of opponents while inducing grounders on well over half the batted balls he allowed.
That quality performance led the Giants to take a shot on Jackson in spite of last year’s lost season. San Francisco signed him to a somewhat surprising two-year, $11.5MM free agent guarantee over the winter. He’s making $3MM this year and will be paid a $6.5MM salary in 2024 and at least a $2MM buyout on a 2025 club option. That’s a reasonable price tag for a setup type but a roll of the dice on the 31-year-old recapturing his pre-surgery form. Jackson has made five rehab appearances with Sacramento, allowing four runs with eight strikeouts and four walks through 4 1/3 innings.
Villar entered the season as San Francisco’s expected third baseman. He’d performed well as a rookie following a late-season call in 2022. The right-handed hitter has had a rough start to his ’23 campaign, however. Over 108 plate appearances, he has hit just .135/.222/.292 with four home runs and a 32.4% strikeout rate. J.D. Davis has taken hold of the third base job and pushed Villar into a depth capacity.