After his professional career began, Syracuse Chiefs southpaw Zach Jackson spent eight years bouncing back and forth between the minor and major leagues. Of those eight seasons, three of them were spent in the big leagues with the Milwaukee Brewers and Cleveland Indians, starting 17 games, going 4-5 with a 5.81 ERA.
But, Jackson's last appearance in the majors came back in 2009, so in 2012, he decided to make a change. Instead of throwing traditionally "over the top", Jackson decided to go sidearm, dropping down and completely changing his throwing motion.
"It was just time for a change," Jackson says. "I'm not getting to where I want to be...and that's in the major leagues. I was kind of in a standstill. It was pretty simple, it was gonna be either it;s gonna work or it wasn't gonna work. I was either going to be able to throw strikes and miss bats, miss barrels, or be walking the house and backing up bases."
Jackson now has a season and a half throwing sidearm under his belt, saying the transition has been fairly smooth thus far.
He pictures himself now as a lefty vs. lefty matchup pitcher, as dropping down gives him even more of a deceptive advantage against left-handed hitters. This season, he's 2-3 with a 5.40 ERA for the Chiefs in 21 appearences.