SF Giants veteran reliever nearing a return after beginning rehab assignment in San Jose

San Francisco Giants v San Diego Padres
San Francisco Giants v San Diego Padres / Andy Kuno/San Francisco Giants/GettyImages

The SF Giants bullpen should be getting a fresh arm back soon enough. Veteran reliever Luke Jackson is a nearing a return after beginning a rehab assignment with the San Jose Giants on Thursday, per the team's transaction log.

SF Giants veteran reliever nearing a return after beginning rehab assignment in San Jose

Jackson sustained a lower back strain in his first appearance of the season before landing on the injured list. The injury was not considered serious and the hard-throwing reliever it set to only miss a couple of weeks barring any setbacks.

In his lone appearance of the season, Jackson yielded three earned runs without recording an out against the San Diego Padres on Opening Day.

The Giants originally signed Jackson to a two-year, $9.5 million pact before the 2023 season. This deal includes club option for 2025 with a $2 million buyout clause. The total guaranteed amount is for $11.5 million.

Jackson was recovering from Tommy John surgery at the time, so the club knew that he would miss the first part of the 2023 season. When he did return, he registered a 2.97 ERA, 3.29 FIP, 1.23 WHIP, 11.6 K/9, and a 2.87 SO/W ratio in 33.1 frames.

The bullpen has posted a 4.90 ERA this season and they hope that Jackson can help turn that unit around. In his absence, both Ryan Walker and Erik Miller have quietly emerged as some of the top options in Bob Melvin's bullpen. This goes along with Tyler Rogers and Camilo Doval who are firmly entrenched as the team's high-leverage reliever and closer, respectively.

Walker continues to function as a high-usage arm. He has produced a 4.09 ERA in 11 appearances with 13 strikeouts against only three walks. On the other hand, Miller has a 6.00 ERA across nine innings of work with 12 strikeouts against five walks. This includes a solid 66.7 percent ground ball rate.

Miller's numbers may not quite show it yet, but Melvin has used him in higher leverage spots recently, whereas Walker has typically been used in all types of situations.

The return of Jackson should bolster the bullpen. He had a scoreless inning in his first rehab appearance with San Jose. If all goes well, he could be back with the team shortly.