Aug. 2, 2010
Jon Luke Jacobs' sophomore season at Auburn did not live up to his own expectations as a midseason injury cost him precious time on the mound. After making 13 appearances, all starts, in his redshirt freshman season in 2009, last season proved to be more of a struggle for Jacobs, who was the 2010 Opening Day starter for Auburn but made just 10 appearances (six starts) on the year and was limited to just 33 2/3 innings after throwing 69 innings in '09.
Now over the summer, Jacobs has had the opportunity to make up for some of that lost time. At the conclusion of the post-season at Auburn, Jacobs joined the Amsterdam Mohawks based out of Amsterdam, N.Y. The Mohawks are members of the New York Collegiate Baseball League.
"Summer league helps a lot just getting back into that starting rotation and help me get my feet back under me and getting back into a routine of starting every fifth, sixth, seventh day depending on how our schedule falls," said Jacobs. "It's baseball again and it's more relaxed and more fun. You get to meet a lot of cool guys and that kind of stuff."
Since the beginning of the season, Jacobs has made nine appearances for Amsterdam with five starts and holds a 3.66 ERA. In 32 innings of work, he has struck out 35 and walked 12. Jacobs says he has really valued his playing time over the summer and knows it will contribute to getting back into the rotation at Auburn in 2011.
"Our coach this year up here in New York (Keith Griffin) coached in junior college for a long time so just being around him every day and listening to him has really helped a lot," said Jacobs. "Just the basic things about pitching, having more than one pitch to throw for a strike, having a pitch to go to in a big situation, reiterating the basic things in pitching; those things have really helped a lot. Being around the game and playing a lot has helped more than anything."
For all the time Jacobs has put into pitching over the summer, it hasn't been all work either. Amsterdam is located near both New York City and Boston, Mass. and Jacobs has gotten to enjoy a little of his time off, too.
"We haven't been able to go into the city (New York), but we did get to go into Boston on one of our off-days," said Jacobs. "One of my friends is up there doing an internship so I got to go up there and hang out in Boston for a day so that was pretty neat. We got to go see a Red Sox game and go see Fenway, and that was pretty cool."
Jacobs has also enjoyed living with his host family who, according to Jacobs, love any and all sports.
"It's a different experience, but you can't thank those people enough for doing all of that for you," said Jacobs. "My host dad is actually the football coach here in Amsterdam so he's a huge sports fan. The whole family is big baseball fans and football and everything in general. It's pretty neat to be in that atmosphere with people you can talk to about sports and they know exactly where you're coming from. It's been a neat experience and a unique one, for sure. I've enjoyed it."
While Jacobs has enjoyed his time in New York and gained a lot on the field, he is excited to get back to Auburn and get back into the starting rotation for the upcoming year.
"When I get back to school, I'll sit down with the coaches and have a conversation and go over what happened in the summer and how to get better and get going in the fall and into the spring," said Jacobs. "I'm excited and ready to get back on the mound."