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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 4:17 pm 
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Broken Hand Derailed Young Third Baseman's Season

Sometimes all it takes is one small thing to derail even the strongest of trains. In the case of the Yellow Springs Nine, some insiders are considering that thing to be the broken hand of Earl Jackson (11 HR, .282). Given that the team was 19-6 in games leading up to the injury, and has gone 25-20 since, the proposition isn’t too ludicrous.

That’s why, if there’s a ray of hope around the team right now it’s that the medical staff is saying Jackson could be ready to come back sometime in the middle of the playoffs, assuming the team gets that far. “I’m working on healing as fast as I can,” Jackson said while taking a treatment. He’s been working out with the team. “It’s hard to watch them go through these tough times and know I can’t get on the field,” he said.

Jackson’s role as a left-handed bat at third base, platooning with J.J. McQuade, is a vital one. The injury forced manager Bret Richards to juggle his usual set-up, choosing to slide shortstop Angel De Castillo to third base and start J.J. McQuade as the fulltime shortstop. This put rookie call-up Bill Benson into the awkward role of utility infielder—a move that hasn’t gone as well as the club might have hoped as Benson is hitting only .138 in 29 AB. De Castillo also struggled in the transition, though has looked a little more comfortable in the past week or two.

“The team is designed with this kind of weird little platoon between Jackson, McQuade, Charbonneau, McNeill and Gonzalez all around the infield,” blogger Jake Kelly wrote. “It’s a beautiful little thing, and it all kind of hinges on De Castillo being able to switch hit at short and Gonzo being able to DH against lefties, for that matter. But the whole thing is just kind of in shambles right now, and it shows.”

The idea that Jackson could return makes the idea of winning the division that much more valuable because it might push back the team’s need to play for as much as a week.

“We’re not banking on anything right now as far as Earl Jackson is concerned,” Assistant GM Howard Dunlap said. “Right now all we’re looking at is the next game.”

Yellow Springs Nine
Playoff Regular, Landis Averse

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