MILWAUKEE -- Edwin Jackson has accepted the late-season switch to the bullpen, but Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said Friday the right-hander needs to come into next year ready to show he can produce positive results.
Jackson (6-15, 6.38 ERA) was on the disabled list from Aug. 20 until Sept. 19, and in his first start back, he gave up five runs on four hits and one walk in two-thirds of an inning against the Dodgers. After that, Jackson was assigned to the bullpen, but he has yet to make an appearance.
"Whatever's going to happen, is going to happen," Jackson said Friday. "I'm not going to be the sour apple walking around all [ticked] off or holding my head down because of the move. If my name is called out of the 'pen, I'll be ready to go."
This year is the second year of Jackson's four-year, $52 million deal, and it hasn't gone well. He led the National League in losses last season with 18, and he is third this year.
"I think Edwin's aware that he needs to turn his Cubs career around and work hard and show better form that he's someone who can be counted on," Epstein said Friday. "I think the default position is that given the competition we're going to have, guys will need to pitch well to have a spot."
Moving Jackson to the bullpen was a "collective idea," Epstein said.
"It's been at the stage where it's appropriate to try some creative things to try to build some momentum to turn this thing around," Epstein said. "He's bought into it."
The right-hander, who has made 30 relief appearances in his career, said he plans on doing his same routine this offseason.
"I know I have my work cut out for me, but I still believe my best years are ahead of me, and it's up to me to go out and prove it," Jackson said.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.