Sep 28, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Edwin Jackson (36) is removed from the game with an injury during the third inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Is the Cubs Edwin Jackson really hurt, or is there more to this?

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I wouldn’t call myself a conspiracy theorist. Not in the least. And I’m not a huge fan. If I catch myself watching something on one, I generally enjoy poking holes in the theories. But I have one on Edwin Jackson. And I know I’m not the only one who realized it when today’s roster move was made.

E-Jax isn’t really injured.

Now, it’s not to say he might not be feeling some soreness. Not sure how sore you can be when you pitch less than five innings each time out, but that’s neither here nor there. I fully believe this was a demotion meant to help Jackson save face, for what there is left to save.

Jackson currently sits as the WORST starter in baseball at 6-14 with a 6.09 ERA. In 16 of his 26 starts, he’s failed to pitch at least five innings. And seven times..less than five. Not only is he losing, he’s putting more work on the bullpen. For 11 million a year, I’d like to see him pull his own weight and not wear out our relievers.

The Theory

My belief is that the Cubs front office, following another terrible outing, felt they had to make a decision. With so much money involved, they can’t simply discard Jackson. A move to the bullpen was likely considered, but after so many horrendous first innings in his starts, it’s hard to think he could have succeeded there.

So the Cubs approach Jackson about the lat injury. It’s an injury he’s had in the past. And Jackson claims that’s just who he is, he doesn’t let anyone know how he’s feeling.

“Clearly, I haven’t been out there pitching like I know I could. I haven’t really made any complaints about anything – or anything going on with my body – just because as a professional you go out there and you don’t make any excuses. h/t Patrick Mooney, Cubs Insider

But a professional Major Leaguer knows that if something isn’t right to let someone know. You’re jeopardizing the team, and possibly your future. That’s why I don’t think he’s hurt, someone would have known something.

The conversation likely follows the line of “Look, you’re a veteran, we don’t want to make things worse than they are. Clearly there are some issues. Let’s do a DL stint, use the Lat injury. There’s a history there. Spend a few weeks working with Bosio, give us a chance to look at Turner and Doubront.”

Internally, Jackson is the bigger man, throwing himself on the grenade. A grenade he pulled the pin from, but still. Maybe he spends some time with Chris Bosio, and they figure out his issues. He bounces back and all is well.

But the Cubs have owned up to their mistakes thus far. Jose Veras? Gone. Nate Schierholtz? Thanks for the one good year. Gone. Darwin Barney? Here’s some polish for the Gold Glove, thanks. Gone.

And we weren’t paying them near as much. And we chased out Alfonso Soriano and ate most of his deal. At least he helped win some games here and there with his bat.

Or there’s the chance he really is hurt, and that he didn’t let anyone know. Well, that was still a selfish move on his part. Whatever the case, the “Zambrano” clock is ticking on Jackson. Someone will be needy enough to take him. right? Anybody?

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