<
>

Jenks will make spring debut Thursday

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox pitcher Bobby Jenks will make his Grapefruit League debut on Thursday against the Philadelphia Phillies at City of Palms Park.

The right-handed reliever threw only his second live BP session Monday morning, tossing 26 pitches.

“I’ll be looking forward to getting in a game come April,” he said. “Right now, even Thursday, I’m going to go out there and work on things. Even though it’s a game situation, it’s still spring training and there are still a lot of things to work on before the season comes.”

Jenks, in his first season with the Red Sox, admitted he’s never gone this long into camp before throwing. Red Sox pitching coach Curt Young wanted him to throw four side sessions and two live BP sessions before getting into a game.

“I guess it’s working,” he said. “It was Curt’s idea. He just wanted me to get a better look, better feel off the mound before we jumped into anything.”

While he was pitching for the White Sox, he would usually arrive at camp too prepared and complained in the past of have a dead-arm feeling by the end of camp.

“I was getting tired in the spring because I was throwing off the mound too much, and you kind of go through that dead-arm feeling. I felt too ready for spring.”

After experiencing elbow problems last season, Jenks said he’s feeling healthy.

“At this point, my arm feels better than I was expecting in the first place,” he said. “To be where I am right now, not only is it a bonus, it’s a good sign because I don’t feel anything. I wasn’t expecting to, but it’s a good thing.”

Following his first live BP session on Saturday, he said he would rather ease into game action.

“I don’t like getting into a game until I’m comfortable with my fastball.”

After Monday’s session, he said it he could feel a big improvement.