Ryan Jackson's long AAA season is over—maybe fittingly, it's over just as his OPS fell below .700 for the first time all season. The St. Louis Cardinals haven't confirmed anything as of Monday night, but it seems like he'll be joining them as a September call-up, ending our long national nightmare of wondering what Ryan Jackson is doing in AAA.
Definitely fittingly, the call-up comes as Jackson and Pete Kozma, his nemesis to the bitter end, conclude a months-long competition to see who can end the season in a bigger, more confidence-sapping slump. Here's what their final month-to-month splits look like, with Kozma on the left and the challenger on the right:
Kozma pulled way out in front in August, but he made a rookie cross-country mistake: He was so bad so fast that he couldn't stay in the race all the way to the end. Jackson was pretty awful—he's managed one extra-base hit in the last two months—but he stuck it out, successfully destroying his season-to-date numbers.
So is Ryan Jackson better than Pete Kozma? Unless he's an awful shortstop, yes. As punchless as Jackson's season was, it ends with a line of .278/.352/.346; Kozma's OBP hasn't topped .318 since he reached the high minors.
He should at least be taking the short end of the Cardinals' depressing shortstop platoon. And since Daniel Descalso has also stopped hitting—.185/.227/.283 in the second half—and is not really a shortstop, he should probably also be taking the long end of the Cardinals' depressing shortstop platoon.
This is it: This is the worst possible ending in the Lost Treasures of Rafael Furcal Choose Your Own Adventure. Everybody's slumping, and nobody had a lot of slack to pull tight in the first place. Greg Garcia is the only exception, having hit .368/.471/.529 in August after a four-month slump of his own, but there's been little talk of the Cardinals going in that direction.
There aren't any good options here, but Ryan Jackson could well be the best one, even as poorly as his second half has gone. Everybody's second half has gone poorly. Maybe. I don't know much about what Rafael Furcal has been up to.