Jackson makes debut with Cardinals at second

Jackson makes debut with Cardinals at second

Jackson makes debut with Cardinals at second
PHILADELPHIA -- On Friday afternoon, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny was asked what freshly called up Ryan Jackson would provide his team. Matheny made it clear that this wasn't a "courtesy" and that the young infielder would be called on to contribute almost immediately.

On Saturday, true to his word, Matheny inserted Jackson -- ranked No. 17 among the organization's prospects by MLB.com -- into the lineup against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Jackson was slotted at second base and hit eighth against Phillies left-handed starter Cliff Lee for a Cardinals team that had just four hits in each of its previous three games.

"He's been doing a nice job against lefties this year," Matheny said. "Give [Daniel Descalso] a day, because we've been riding him pretty hard. Give him a chance to see what he can do. We've been talking to him through yesterday and today about enjoying it and not making more of it than it is. It's still the same game."

With Triple-A Memphis this season, Jackson hit .310 (44-for-142) with five home runs and 15 RBIs. Add in the fact that Jake Westbrook is a ground-ball pitcher and the young infielder -- who has played the majority of the season at short -- will be thrown into the fire.

"He's going to get some action on the left side of the infield," Matheny said. "There has never been much question defensively what he can do. It also gives him a better chance hitting against a lefty, which he has better numbers against throughout his career."

Mike Radano is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.