Notes: Jenks' new workouts paying dividends

191542.jpg

Notes: Jenks' new workouts paying dividends

By MaureenMullen
CSNNE.com

FORT MYERS, Fla. --- Bobby Jenks spent the offseason workingout with ex-NFL wide receiver Keith Poole, who is now a trainer inChandler, Ariz., and the workouts were much different from what Jenks wasused to doing in the offseason.

These workouts had a football mentality: Cardio and strength work, tire flips, chain pulls. Everything buttwo-a-days.

Obviously, working with someone instead of byyourself ,its a lot different, Jenks said. You got more motivation.At home its easy to say youll get to it later and before you knowits 10:00 at night. This way it gives me the motivation to go everyday and I think being this strong right now early in the spring, itsobviously paid off.

Regardless of whether I was going back tothe White Sox or a new team, it was something I wanted to do formyself, just be in the best shape I could going into the season. Andright now, its definitely paying off.

In two one-inning appearances this spring, Jenks has faced seven batters, giving up one hit with two strikeouts.

The Red Sox lost, 6-5, to the Mets in Port St. Lucie. Right-hander Michael Bowden, starting in place of Jon Lester, who was ill, went two innings, giving up two runs on three hits and a walk. Andrew Miller went two innings, giving up three runs on four hits, including an Ike Davis home run, with a walk and strikeout. Hideki Okajima pitched a scoreless inning and Rich Hill pitched two scoreless innings. Alex Wilson took the loss, giving up one run, a Lucas Duda solo homer, and three hits, with a walk and a strikeout.

Josh Reddick hit a two-run homer, his second of the spring, in the eighth inning, tying the game. Juan Carlos Linares and Tim Federowicz each hit solo homers, the first of the spring for both. Daniel Nava, after driving himself to the game, went 2-for-3. Jed Lowrie also went 2-for-3.

Left-hander Felix Doubront, who had been experiencing tightness in his left elbow began throwing Saturday, making 25 tosses from 60 feet, and said he felt good. On Sunday he made 20 -25 throws from about 90 feet.

Red Sox players are scheduled to meet with executive director Michael Weiner and representatives of the players association Monday morning.

Ryan Kalish successfully defended his Dancing with the New Stars title Saturday night, defeating Luis Exposito, Ryan Lavarnway, and Jason Rice. Jason Varitek, David Ortiz, Tim Wakefield, Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, Mike Cameron, Darnell McDonald, Lars Anderson, and Michael Bowden served as judges.

Minor-league spring training began Sunday at the player development complex with the first workouts for pitchers and catchers. Position players report on March 11, with the first full-squad workout scheduled for March 13. The first minor-league games are slated for March 16 against Orioles squads.

Pitchers scheduled for Mondays game against the Orioles are John Lackey, Dan Wheeler, Randy Williams, and Kyle Weiland.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter athttp:twitter.commaureenamullen

Harper, Strickland throw punches in Nationals-Giants brawl

bryce_harper_hunter_strickland_fight_052917.jpg

Harper, Strickland throw punches in Nationals-Giants brawl

SAN FRANCISCO - An enraged Bryce Harper charged the mound, fired his helmet and traded punches to the head with San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland after getting hit by a fastball, setting off a wild brawl Monday during the Washington Nationals' 3-0 win over the Giants.

Drilled in the right hip by a 98 mph heater on Strickland's first pitch in the eighth inning with two outs, none on and Washington ahead 2-0, Harper didn't hesitate. The slugger pointed his bat at Strickland, yelled at him and took off.

No one got in Harper's way as he rushed the mound. His eyes were wide as he flung his helmet - it sailed way wide of Strickland, it might've slipped - and they started swinging away. The 6-foot-4 Strickland hit Harper in the face, then they broke apart for a moment before squaring off again. Harper punched Strickland in the head as the benches and bullpen emptied.

Giants teammates Michael Morse and Jeff Samardzija collided hard as they tried to get between the two fighters. Three Giants players forcefully dragged Strickland from the middle of the pack all the way into the dugout, while a teammate held back Harper.

Harper and Strickland were both ejected. They have some history between them - in the 2014 NL Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland, and the All-Star outfielder glared at the reliever as he rounded the bases after the second shot in Game 4.

Drellich: After golden 2016, Red Sox remember what it's like to have things go wrong

red_sox_dustin_pedroia_052917.jpg

Drellich: After golden 2016, Red Sox remember what it's like to have things go wrong

CHICAGO — More than anything else, Monday’s 5-4 Red Sox loss was a reminder of how much the Red Sox had go right for them a year ago, and just how unrealistic it was to expect so much of it to carry over into 2017.

The Red Sox remain a very good team. But the success of last year’s 93-win team, of any 93-win team is, truly, difficult to replicate. Unlikely, even.

Baseball’s age of parity, the randomness of freak injuries, good old regression — the Sox were due for some elements to catch up to them after a season that was more or less golden in 2016.

Dustin Pedroia, who headed back to Boston on Monday for an MRI on his left wrist, was healthy enough to hit 15 home runs a year ago, his highest total since 2012. The way this year is going for him health-wise, just having him on the field and hitting close to .300 sounds like a worthwhile goal the rest of the way.

(Slides are Pedroia’s enemy, be it from an oncoming base runner, like Manny Machado, or an oncoming first baseman, like Jose Abreu.)

David Price wasn’t living David Price’s best baseball life a year ago. But you know what you can, and probably do, take for granted? He was healthy and devouring innings. He cleared more frames than anyone else in the regular season. Even when he wasn’t pitching well, he could pitch and pitch and pitch. 

Jackie Bradley Jr. had a 1.001 OPS at the end of play on May 29, 2016. His OPS after play May 29, 2017, was .670.

We know how special David Ortiz was. Let’s not go there, because it seems like no one can talk about Ortiz’s absence rationally. His exit did not suck every home run out of the Sox lineup, as many like to say is the case, but he is — of course — a big missing piece.

Not everything was perfect in 2016, lest we remember our ex-girlfriends too fondly. Carson Smith went for Tommy John surgery, for example. 

But look now: Smith still isn’t back, Tyler Thornburg is a mystery if not quiet yet an afterthought and Robbie Ross Jr. not only struggled to the point he was demoted, he’s going through elbow trouble.

Rick Porcello won the American League Cy Young, much to Kate Upton’s chagrin. Porcello will not win the Cy Young this year, if you hadn’t been paying attention, although Chris Sale might.

There’s something going well for the Sox right now: that Sale guy. The bullpen coughed up the game Monday, Matt Barnes in particular. Yet Sox relievers had the fifth best ERA of any team to start the day. 

Hey, Eduardo Rodriguez looks pretty good, doesn't he?

With some downward trends have come some positives. Craig Kimbrel's on another planet.

The Sox may still be a 90-win team. Again, they remain a very good club.

But the wins, the breaks aren’t coming as easily as they did a year ago. You should never have expected they would.