Jenks satisfied with Red Sox debut

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Jenks satisfied with Red Sox debut

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com

FORT MYERS, Fla. - His new teammates had already taken part in two college games and four Grapefruit League contests, but all Bobby Jenks could do was watch. The Red Sox wanted Jenks to take his time before pitching in a game.

Finally, Jenks got his chance Thursday, making his Red Sox debut with an inning of one-hit scoreless relief against the Philadelphia Phillies.

"It actually went a little better than I expected," said Jenks after the Sox' 2-0 defeat. "I made some very good pitches. Threw the ball exactly where I wanted to for the most part today so, all in all, it was a really good day."

"I thought the ball came out of hand really well," said Terry Francona. "I think he's been a notoriously slow starter in spring training. But the ball came out of his hand really good."

Jenks threw some four-seam fastballs, two-seam fastballs, a cutter and a few changeups. In his next outing, he'll begin to integrate his breaking ball.

He's committed to improving his changeup this year "and make that a really good pitch for me." The one he threw which Shane Victorino smoked for a double, Jenks joked, was "more like a changedown.''

A scout watching Jenks on Thursday had his four-seam fastball at 92-93 mph and his two-seamer, or sinker, at 88-90 mph.

"Velocity, I don't care about until come the start of the season time," he said. "Right now, as long as I'm feeling healthy and feeling strong . . . I felt really mechanically sound today."

Jenks said his transition from closer for the White Sox to set-up man for the Red Sox will be a work in progress.

"I'm going to have to just wait and see when we get there," he said. "It's going to be one of those day-to-day adjustments."

"I think the biggest adjustment for him will be controlling the running game," said Francona. "For some reason, teams get into the ninth inning and don't want to end the game with a guy standing in the box and a guy thrown out stealing. In the seventh and eighth innings, they're a little bit more willing to run. So that's something we'll keep an eye on as spring progresses -- holding runners, things like that.

"His stuff is plenty good, no matter what innings he pitches. I think teams will be a little more apt to run if he pitches the seventh or eighth."

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Moreland, Travis homer to lead Red Sox past Northeastern 9-6 in opener

Moreland, Travis homer to lead Red Sox past Northeastern 9-6 in opener

Mitch Moreland and Sam Travis hit three-run homers and left-hander Brian Johnson started and pitched two scoreless innings to help the Red Sox win their spring training opener, 9-6, over Northeastern University on Thursday in Fort Myers, Fla.

Johnson, who made one spot start in his MLB debut with the Red Sox in 2015 but then was derailed by injuries and anxiety issues last season, struck out three and walked one Thursday. He's expected to start the season at Triple-A Pawtucket, where he went 5-6 with a 4.44 ERA in 15 starts in 2016.

Moreland, the left-handed hitting first baseman signed to a one-year deal after spending his first seven seasons with the Texas Rangers, and Travis, a right-handed hitting first base prospect coming back from knee surgery last season, each hit three-run homers in a six-run third inning.

Pablo Sandoval, attempting to reclaim the third-base job after missing nearly all of last season after surgery on his left shoulder, went 1-for-2 with a double. 

The Red Sox open Grapefruit League play Friday afternoon when they host the New York Mets at JetBlue Park. 

Pedro Martinez talks about one of the greatest games he's ever pitched

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Pedro Martinez talks about one of the greatest games he's ever pitched

CSN baseball analyst Lou Merloni sits down with Pedro Martinez and Red Sox hitting coach Chili Davis to discuss one of Pedro's greatest games. 

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On September 10, 1999 at the height of the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry, Pedro Martinez struck out 17 Yankees in a complete game victory, with the only hit he allowed being a home run to Chili Davis. The two men recall that memorable night in the Bronx, and discuss the state of pitching in 2017.