Boston Red Sox: Bobby Jenks

Red Sox release Bobby Jenks

July, 3, 2012
The Boston Red Sox on Tuesday cut ties with right-handed reliever Bobby Jenks, placing him on unconditional release waivers after reaching a contract termination settlement.

The 31-year-old Jenks has spent the entire season on the disabled list while recovering from two offseason back surgeries, the complications from which had him fearing his life. During spring training, he was arrested for driving under the influence and explained to officers he had taken "too many muscle relaxers.”

Jenks signed a two-year, $12 million contract with the Red Sox in December of 2010 and ended up pitching just 15 2/3 innings during his injury-riddled stint with Boston. He was 2-2 with a 6.23 ERA in 19 appearances in 2011.

A two-time All-Star as closer for the Chicago White Sox, Jenks has a 3.40 career ERA and 173 saves over parts of seven seasons in the majors.

Jenks has pulmonary embolism in his back

September, 13, 2011
BOSTON -- Boston Red Sox pitcher Bobby Jenks has been diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism in his back, but he's doing fine and it's not career threatening, according to manager Terry Francona.

Doctors found the embolism, which occurs when the main artery of the lung or one of its branches becomes blocked, during the course of all the testing Jenks had on his back.

"Bobby's doing fine, and he's on the proper medication. He's doing great," Francona said.

Jenks, who remains with the team, is shut down from all physical activities for the foreseeable future, according to Francona. Francona reiterated, however, that this situation would not end the pitcher's career.

"I don't believe so," he said. "It's not something to mess around with, but it was a very small embolism and they have it under control. Certainly they want it to go away, but I they feel like he's in good shape."

Jenks has made three trips to the disabled list this season, twice because of back tightness. The right-handed reliever is 2-2 with a 6.32 ERA in 19 appearances this season, his first with Boston after six seasons with the White Sox.

"It's certainly nothing to mess around with, there just needed to be a lot of testing," Francona said. "Bobby was put on the proper medication, and that's probably going to slow down the efforts to look at his back a little bit, but in a hurry the back becomes secondary."

Ortiz takes BP, but not done with boot

August, 21, 2011
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- David Ortiz took swings in the batting cage for the second straight day, but the Red Sox have opted to keep their designated hitter in a walking boot until Monday.

Ortiz has missed the past week with bursitis in his right heel, and has removed the boot only for batting practice. Shedding the boot for good will bring him closer to a return, but Francona said Ortiz will need time to adjust to running in spikes.

"Because he's a DH, there's a little bit of wiggle room, but we still want him to move around before he gets in the game," Francona said. "Going from a boot to sliding probably isn't the best common sense."

-- Reliever Bobby Jenks, on the disabled list since July 8 with back tightness, is scheduled to throw a simulated game Monday.

"He threw 26 pitches (Saturday)," Francona said. "Everything went real well, and he will throw a simulated (game) on Monday. By all reports he's doing terrific."

Jenks, who was hospitalized earlier this month with a stomach illness, has been rehabbing in Fort Myers, Fla.

-- Francona has been encouraged by the performance of Erik Bedard, Monday's scheduled starter at Texas.

Bedard has allowed six earned runs in three starts since coming to Boston in a trade with Seattle. At the time of the trade, Bedard had just returned from a stint on the disabled list with a sprained left knee.

"I think we were prepared to see some rust when he first pitched," Francona said. "What you see there is the ability to spin the breaking ball, throw strikes, command the running game. That's exciting."

-- Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli paid a pregame visit to Boston's clubhouse. Pioli came to Kansas City in 2009 after nine years in New England, where he served as the Patriots' vice president for player personnel.

Jenks in hospital; Williams optioned

August, 8, 2011
MINNEAPOLIS -- Bobby Jenks has been hospitalized for three days and was undergoing a colonoscopy Monday, manager Terry Francona said, citing his favorite all-encompassing explanation, "intestinal turmoil," as the reason.

"He got sick, I mean real sick,'' said Francona, who offered no further details.

Jenks was to have gone to Fort Myers to continue his rehab from back problems, but that has been placed on hold.

-- Left-handed reliever Randy Williams was optioned to Pawtucket to make room for Jed Lowrie, who was activated from the disabled list. Lowrie, 7-for-17 on his rehab stint with Pawtucket, was playing third base (and batting seventh) in place of Kevin Youkilis.

-- Outfielder Ryan Kalish, after a brief rehab stint with Lowell, is back with Pawtucket after a long absence because of shoulder and neck injuries.

Jenks to throw side session Sunday

August, 5, 2011
BOSTON -- Red Sox pitcher Bobby Jenks (back injury) is scheduled to throw a side session on Sunday at Fenway Park, and if all goes well he will report to the club’s spring training facility in Fort Myers, Fla., and will continue throwing there while the team is on the road.

“Obviously [Sunday’s session] is in pencil, but the last couple of times we’ve reached a little quick and it’s gone backwards,” Francona said. “When we go on the road he’ll go to Fort Myers and throw some pens and get him into some simulated games before he heads to Pawtucket.”

The right-handed reliever has spent three separate stints on the disabled list this season, twice with back stiffness. He’s played catch a couple of times this week and the next step will be the side session on Sunday before he begins a minor league rehab assignment.

“We’ll map it out, but the most important thing is he feels good on Sunday when he throws,” Francona said.
BOSTON -- Red Sox relief pitcher Bobby Jenks has not improved since he was placed on the disabled list on July 16 (retroactive to July 8) with left back tightness.

The right-hander has had three stints on the DL this season, his first with Boston, and has been limited to 19 games (2-2, 6.32 ERA).

When asked if there were any updates on his status, Red Sox manager Terry Francona couldn’t give one.

“There really isn’t. He’s not feeling better yet,” Francona said. “As the doctors come in, they keep looking at him. We’re not hiding anything. If we get something, I’ll tell you, but we don’t have anything.”

With Jenks spending the majority of the season on the DL, right-handed reliever Matt Albers has been solid for Boston.

Albers currently has a season-high 11 1/3 scoreless innings streak with 15 strikeouts in his last eight appearances. He’s allowed only one run in his last 17 outings and only two over the last 20 games. Overall, 27 of his 33 outings have been scoreless.

“He’s been a blessing for that bullpen,” Francona said. “He’s pitched some huge innings for us. Basically, Jenks’ innings right from the get-go, and it’s been multiple innings too. He likes to pitch and he’s a great kid. He takes the ball anytime you give it to him.”

Buchholz to throw off mound Friday

July, 19, 2011
BALTIMORE -- Right-hander Clay Buchholz, who has been on the 15-day disabled list since June 19 with a lower back strain, is scheduled to have his first throwing session off a mound Friday, manager Terry Francona said.

Buchholz has been throwing off flat ground, throwing from 120 feet on Monday, and plans to play catch from the same distance on Wednesday. If all goes well, he'll throw off a mound on Friday, Francona said.

Another injured Red Sox pitcher, reliever Bobby Jenks, had an injection of platelet-rich plasma in his ailing back on Tuesday, according to Francona.

Jenks was placed on the DL for the third time this season last week with back tightness.

Red Sox pregame notes

June, 22, 2011
BOSTON -- My skates are off and my spikes are back on for the remainder of the Red Sox season. I’m back at Fenway Park today and here are some morning updates from manager Terry Francona:

-- Red Sox starter Josh Beckett is still dealing with the flu bug and remains questionable for his next scheduled start on Saturday at Pittsburgh.

“He’s really sick,” Francona said. “Doctors are trying to figure it out. I have not seen him this morning. He wasn’t good yesterday and we’re going to have to play this one by ear. There are some pitchers, because of the off day, that we’re actually OK.”

If Beckett begins to feel better in the coming days, Francona is not inclined to throw the veteran right-hander out there immediately.

“We’ll see how he responds [Thursday],” Francona said. “He just has a good old-fashioned case of the flu.”

In case Beckett can’t pitch on Saturday, lefty Andrew Miller is set to throw a shorter side session on Thursday in case he’s needed to start in place of Beckett.

-- Right-handed reliever Bobby Jenks will throw a side session on Thursday and will increase his workload more than the 20-pitch session he tossed on Tuesday. Francona said Jenks has made “really rapid steps” in the last three or four days. If he responds well after Thursday’s extended session, the team and the medical staff will make a decision where Jenks goes from there.

-- Injured Red Sox shortstop Jed Lowrie is in Los Angeles and will have his left shoulder examined today by Dr. Lewis Yocum. Francona said there could be an update on Lowrie’s condition following this afternoon’s game.
NEW YORK--Red Sox reliever Bobby Jenks lasted just four pitches Tuesday night before having to depart.

"It's my back,'' Jenks could be seen telling catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia after running the count to 3-and-1 on Jorge Posada, the first batter of the seventh inning for the New York Yankees.

After the game, Jenks confirmed that it was indeed his back that forced him out of the game, a recurrence of a problem dating back his tearing a small muscle behind his left shoulder blade in his second year of pro ball.

"It's an injury that happened years and years ago,'' Jenks said. "Unfortunately it gives me little fits now and then. Everything's fine once I cool down and it starts relaxing. It'll be all right maybe in a day or two.''

Jenks said he has not been sidelined by the injury for "probably a year or two at least.''

Jenks said he was planning to get an MRI Wednesday morning, primarily to reassure the Sox medical staff that the condition is as innocuous as he describes.

Jenks said he began to feel discomfort as he was warming up. There have been other times he has felt it cramping up but was able to throw through it. Not this time. "It grabbed and locked up pretty good,'' he said. "But it's already feeling better now.''

Masterson a Francona favorite no more

May, 23, 2011
CLEVELAND -- Imagine Terry Francona's outlook on facing Justin Masterson if he didn't like the guy.

"It's hard not to love him, we all do. But I hope we beat his brains out," Francona said before the former Red Sox right-hander started the opener of a three-game series for the Cleveland Indians against Boston on Tuesday night.

"He's everybody's favorite," Francona added, noting that he has seen a change in Masterson since the big fella became a big part of Cleveland's rotation.

"He's pitching very aggressively, especially against left-handers, and he's always needed to do that. Because he's such an easy-going guy, people don't realize how much he competes -- and he's a competitor."

Masterson anticipates the challenge of facing seven lefties (including switch-hitters) in Boston's lineup. He threw his only career shutout against the Red Sox last June 9, a two-hitter, and is 2-0 with an 0.64 ERA in two starts against them.

"I have a lot of friends over there," Masterson said Sunday. "It will be fun."

Mastering a changeup to go with his fastball and put-away slider has helped Masterson go 5-2 with a 2.52 ERA in nine starts this year for the Indians, who entered play Tuesday with baseball's best record at 29-15, including 18-4 at home.

A three-game sweep of the Red Sox in the season's first week went a long way toward propelling the young Indians. It also put the Sox into an 0-6 hole that they have been clawing their way out of for five weeks.

"When we left here, nothing was going right," Francona said. "Now, it looks like we are winning the close games. Things have settled down nicely."

Boston has won 11 of 14 to improve to 25-21, just a half-game off the AL East lead.

Adrian Gonzalez's hot hitting has led the way. The first baseman went 4-for-4 Sunday night -- his second four-hit game in a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs at Fenway Park. His 65 hits and 41 RBIs lead the majors.

"When you see a really good hitter like Gonzo in the midst of a streak, it is fun to watch," said Francona, who doesn't expect a sudden cold front to hit. "I know he's hot, but it is more than that. He's not going to go away."

On the mend: Bobby Jenks, out since May 2 with a right biceps strain, threw a 25-pitch bullpen session.

"I felt fine," the right-handed setup man said. "Everything was good. We're right on schedule."

Francona said Jenks will throw again before Wednesday's noon matinee and that right-hander John Lackey will test his strained right elbow on Tuesday.

Marco Scutaro, out since May 8 with a strained left oblique, did some light infield work, but Francona said the shortstop is not quite ready to resume hitting. "We don't want to turn him loose until he doesn't feel it -- and he still does," Francona said. "He's not cleared to hit yet. Hopefully by the end of the week."

Francona says some people have a tendency to be a bit too critical of Jed Lowrie's defense as he fills in at short.

""He's been pretty good, very reliable," Francona said. "His foot speed probably is not the best, but he positions himself really well. At the plate, he gives you a professional at-bat every time."

Lackey, Jenks continue to make progress

May, 22, 2011
BOSTON -- Terry Francona had brief updates on the rehab of a pair of his ailing pitchers before Sunday's series finale against the Cubs.

John Lackey (elbow) threw again on flat ground Sunday without any issues and will play catch Monday in Cleveland, where the team will open a seven-game trip. Francona said he expects Lackey to throw a side session on Tuesday. He has been on the disabled list since May 16.

Bobby Jenks (oblique), who has been on the DL since May 5, also is progressing. He is expected to throw a side session Monday in Cleveland.

Jenks begins throwing in first step back

May, 17, 2011
While the Red Sox prepared to place their second starter on the disabled list this week, their bullpen is seemingly on the mend.

Right-hander Bobby Jenks, who has been on the DL since May 5 because of a right biceps strain, played catch from 60 feet Tuesday. It was his first such session since being shut down. All went well and he is expected to increase the distance Wednesday. Jenks likely will need a rehab stint.

Fellow reliever Dan Wheeler (calf) is eligible to come off the disabled list on Friday. He has been on a rehab assignment in Pawtucket.

The Sox are expected to add Michael Bowden to the 'pen on Wednesday when they place Daisuke Matsuzaka on the DL. Matsuzaka will join John Lackey on the shelf. Bowden likely will be sent back to Pawtucket when Wheeler is ready.

One more injury update: Infielder Marco Scutaro (left oblique) still hasn’t been cleared to swing a bat and he won’t be until he is pain free, manager Terry Francona said Tuesday.

Francona 'not going to run from' Jenks

May, 1, 2011
BOSTON -- After a tough weekend for Bobby Jenks, who blew a lead and was saddled with Friday's 5-4 loss, then came in Sunday and blew a two-run lead, Red Sox manager Terry Francona said "we are not going to run from him. He's going to help us win a lot of games.''

While Francona voiced his support, he has cause to consider taking the same approach with Jenks as he did with Carl Crawford when he dropped Crawford to the No. 8 hole in the batting order. Until Jenks gets his act together, Francona might want to avoid using him in a close games -- the preferred term these days is "high-leverage" situations. Matt Albers, who retired all six batters he faced in the seventh and eighth innings, has a 1.13 ERA and provides a logical alternative to Jenks, whose ERA now stands at 9.35.

The former White Sox closer gave up a single to the first batter he faced, Miguel Olivo, threw a wild pitch, then walked three batters in succession to force home two runs to tie the score after he relieved Tim Wakefield with one on and two outs in the sixth. When Jenks finally did record an out, the ball was struck hard, Michael Saunders lining to Crawford in left.

Jenks' velocity was the best the Sox have seen all season, averaging more than 94 miles per hour and topping out at 97, according to Brooks by Baseball. "I think he was getting mad,'' Francona said.

But of the 17 fastballs Jenks threw, only five were strikes, just one swinging. Jenks went through one stretch in which he threw 19 consecutive pitches without the Mariners offering at a single one. And you can't say he was missing by the length of the hair on his chinny, chin chin, because after Friday's loss, Jenks shaved off his whisk-broom beard.

Jenks, who was loudly booed as he came off the mound Sunday, told reporters after the game that he had spotted a mechanical flaw that he hoped could be easily corrected. "He just needs a good inning to relax,'' Francona said.

But maybe it would be best, for the time being, if that inning come in less stressful circumstances.

Rapid reaction: Red Sox 3, Mariners 2

May, 1, 2011

BOSTON -- Carl Crawford batted .155 in April, the lowest average of any player in the big leagues (among qualifiers).

But on the first of May, the Red Sox left fielder hit a single up the middle to drive home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth for the Red Sox in a 3-2 win over the Seattle Mariners.

Blinded by the light: Ichiro Suzuki lost Jed Lowrie's one-out drive to right in the sun, the ball caroming off the Mariners' right fielder for what was scored a triple.

Wakefield deserved better: Pitching for only the second time since April 18, Tim Wakefield did a terrific job filling in for Clay Buchholz (stomach flu). Wakefield held the Mariners scoreless, throwing 53 strikes out of 76 pitches, before leaving after a two-out single by Ryan Langerhans.

Jenks jilited again: Reliever Bobby Jenks had another terrible outing in relief of Wakefield, giving up a single and walking three straight batters to force home two runs that tied the score in the sixth.

RIP, RISP: The Sox, after going 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position in Saturday's 2-0 loss, went 2-for-10 after Crawford's hit scored Lowrie from third.

Francona still mum on Manny

April, 9, 2011
BOSTON -- Red Sox manager Terry Francona was asked after his club’s 9-6 victory over the New York Yankees on Friday at Fenway Park for his thoughts about Manny Ramirez’s decision to retire, after Ramirez reportedly violated Major League Baseball’s drug policy for a second time.

Francona, who managed Ramirez from 2004 until the slugger was traded in 2008, decided to withhold judgment because he did not know the details of the situation.

When asked about it Saturday, Francona said he thought about it Friday night and decided not to comment.

“He’s not our player and I don’t know anything about it," he said. "I saw a blurb. I guess I really don’t have a comment.”

He was then asked whether he thinks baseball will ever be able to escape the issue of performance-enhancing drugs and make it a thing of the past.

“I think it’s almost unfair to hold baseball to that," he said. "You think life is ever going to get away from that? Like you, football, people on the street? Probably not,” Francona said. “It’s probably something that’s a little larger than baseball.”

The landscape, testing, rules and discipline have improved over the years, he acknowledged.

“Way better,” he said. “When things sort of looked like they were getting out of hand, in the middle '90s, I was [managing] in the minor leagues, so I’m a little bit ignorant on that, which shouldn’t be an excuse. But I think the general public would be somewhat shocked -- in a good way -- how hard these guys work. I do get to see that. The younger players coming up, the testing is pretty stringent and I think that’s good.”

Ramirez is considered by many to be the greatest right-handed hitter of his generation, and almost immediately the debate has intensified on whether he -- and other players like him -- should still be elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

“I don’t know. I’d hate to give an opinion unless you have an answer, and I don’t think there is an answer,” Francona said. “Our game is being penalized for, maybe, I don’t know if 'putting our heads in the sand' is the right term. It’s never going to be fair for everybody. We’re paying the price for what happened -- in general. That’s a shame.”

Red Sox reliever Bobby Jenks, who played with Ramirez in Chicago last season, has his take on players who are known or suspected PED users and their place in Cooperstown.

“I’ve thought about this and I’ve gone back and forth with different people, whether players should be in, or shouldn’t be,” Jenks said. “I think when it comes down to that, they shouldn’t be able to be voted in, because I don’t think any writer will. It should come down to the former players, the Hall of Fame ballot, the Veterans’ Committee and let them decide. If [Manny] gets in, he gets in that way.”