Thursday, May 5, 2011
Bobby Jenks, Dan Wheeler to DL
By Gordon Edes
BOSTON -- Having run through his bullpen the night before, Red Sox manager Terry Francona announced Thursday morning that the team had added reinforcement, recalling right-hander Scott Atchison from Triple-A Pawtucket and selecting left-hander Rich Hill from the PawSox, which required adding Hill to the 40-man roster.
The Red Sox placed relievers Bobby Jenks (biceps strain) and Dan Wheeler (calf strain) on the 15-day disabled list.
Jenks did not pitch Wednesday after warming up because his arm "cramped up" on him, Francona said after Wednesday's marathon loss to the Angels.
On Thursday, Francona offered further information, saying the affected area was Jenks' right biceps, adding that the team's medical staff was planning to examine him later in the day.
"I don't think anybody thinks it's anything serious,'' Francona said of Jenks, who had been scored upon in his past three appearances (allowing six hits, four earned runs in 2 1/3 innings pitched) and has a 9.35 ERA overall. "When you go through a game like last night, though, and guys aren't available, we're going to put him on the disabled list.''
Wheeler, meanwhile, pitched Wednesday night and for the second time in three games had a brutal outing against the Angels. He entered at the start of the seventh inning of a scoreless game and gave up a double to Howie Kendrick, the first batter he faced, then a home run to Vernon Wells, a line drive that hit well up the left-field light tower.
After a walk and a fly ball to the track, Wheeler was removed for Hideki Okajima.
On Monday night, Wheeler gave up two singles and a home run to Wells, who came into the series batting .170 with one home run.
Wheeler has a 11.32 ERA in 11 appearances. In just 10 1/3 innings, he has allowed 18 hits, including four home runs, and opposing hitters are batting .375 (18 for 48) against him. After Monday night's game, Francona had attributed Wheeler's problems to a cutter that was staying in the strike zone.
On Thursday, Francona said Wheeler's left calf has been "bugging him for a couple of days."
"Again, I don't think it's something that's going to linger, but we also have to have enough guys in the bullpen to finish the game. So we talked to him also,'' Francona said.
Wheeler has never been on the disabled list in his career.
There may be more moves in the offing. Daisuke Matsuzaka, who pitched an inning Wednesday night and took the loss in his first relief appearance in the big leagues, was scheduled to start Friday. Will he make that start?
"My guess is no,'' Francona said. "I think he's going to want to, because he's a competitor and likes to. Sometimes you have to take that decision out of their hands because it's a long season. He ended up throwing a side and a game in one day, so we'll probably err on the side of caution. I know he was lobbying before he left last night that he could pitch tomorrow, which is great. We appreciate stuff like that.''
Both Hill and Atchison have put up impressive numbers in Pawtucket. Hill is 1-0 with a 1.13 ERA in 10 appearances. In 16 innings, he has allowed two earned runs, struck out 18 and walked five, and is holding opposing hitters to a .143 average.
Atchison is 1-0 with a 1.04 ERA, allowing two earned runs in 17 1/3 innings. He has walked just one batter while striking out 17, holding opposing hitters to a .206 average.
Gordon Edes covers the Red Sox for ESPNBoston.com.