Jenks is back, and anxious to start pitching


Jenks is back, and anxious to start pitching

By Sean McAdam

BOSTON -- It's been almost exactly a month since Bobby Jenks has appeared in a game for the Red Sox. Now, after a stint on the DL due to a biceps strain and two rehab apperances for Pawtucket last weekend, Jenks is eager to return.

"I'm back at 100 percent," proclaimed Jenks. "My arm feels great. I was throwing the ball well at Pawtucket; I was commanding all my pitches and feeling very good."

Jenks didn't allow a run in five of his first six appearances for the Sox in April, but in retrospect, the arm began effecting him in mid-April, a "solid two weeks," before he shut it down.

"He was throwing hard," recounted Terry Francona. "That wasn't an issue. The thing that was bothering him was the command."

"I was feeling I could keep throwing through it," said Jenks. "Unfortunately, we just didn't catch it in time . . . It's something we could have caught sooner, but I was being stubborn and not telling anybody about it."

During the down time - with side sessions -- Jenks was able to correct some poor habits he fell into mechanically.

"Small adjustments, that's all it, really," said Jenks. "Just keeping my shoulder closed longer and keeping my head on top of the ball -- small things to keep myself right."

It's possible -- even likely -- that Jenks' first appearance since May 1 will come against the White Sox, the team for which he pitched six seasons before leaving to sign a two-year deal with the Red Sox last winter.

But facing the White Sox or manager Ozzie Guillen, with whom he's frequently fueded, won't serve as any extra motivation.

"If it was any team right now," he said, "I'd have the same motivation because I'm coming off the DL and I want to get back to work."

Pitching against long-time teammates such as Paul Konerko, A.J. Pierzynski and Carlos Quentin -- among others -- is "going to be weird. But once the game starts and once my inning is there and ready to go, it's time to get down to business."

A month off has given Jenks a new persepctive and a fresh start.

"I want to get back to where I was at the start of the year," he said, "and get back to commanding all my pitches and pitching like I know I can."

Of the verbal give-and-take he had with Guillen last winter and this spring training, Jenks said: "It's water under the bridge for me. I'm here with the Red Sox now and as much as I enjoyed my time over there with Chicago, my focus is on this organization and this team right now."

Jenks said he regretted some of the negative things he had to say about the White Sox and Guillen after leaving.

"I spent a lot of time there and there were a lot of good years," he said.

Sean McAdam can be reached at Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Pedro Martinez to WEEI: Ortiz will make comeback this season

Pedro Martinez to WEEI: Ortiz will make comeback this season

Never say never?

While Red Sox officials said at the team's annual Winter Weekend at Foxwoods on Saturday that they'd be traveling to the Dominican Republic to talk to David Ortiz about a role with the team, Pedro Martinez told WEEI he sees Big Papi returning to his old role - designated hitter - this season.

CSN's Trenni Kusnierek and WEEI's John Tomase talked to Martinez on their show Saturday at Foxwoods and Martinez said his old teammate would be making a comeback despite the long, emotional farewell tour last season. 

For the full interview with Martinez, click here.

Red Sox executives Tom Werner, Sam Kennedy and Dave Dombrowski made no mention of Ortiz returning as a player when talking about their Dominican trip. Ortiz has repeatedly said he is going to stay retired. 

Chris Sale on leaving White Sox: 'Time for both sides to do something different, I guess'

Chris Sale on leaving White Sox: 'Time for both sides to do something different, I guess'

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. -- While there’s a deal of anticipation going into Spring training with the four Killer B’s, David Price and Pablo Sandoval’s shot at redemption and Rick Porcello looking to be something similar to his 2016 self, there’s one name that trumps them all.

Chris Sale.

The lankly lefty received an ovation from fans at the Friday night Town Hall, kicking off Red Sox Winter Weekend. With his consistent success, there’s reason to be excited.

But there’s also reason for apprehension given the way Sale’s departure from Chicago was depicted. But he’s made sure to clear the air.

“I wouldn’t say . . . ya know . . . I loved my time in Chicago,” Sale said when asked if it was time to leave the Windy City. “My best baseball memories are there [and] will be there forever. I love the city; I love the people in the organization.

“It was time for both sides to do something different, I guess. I talked to (White Sox Senior V.P.) Rick on the phone, I talked to (White Sox pitching coach Don) Coop (Cooper). We’re all cool, it’s fine. We understand where both of us are, it happens in baseball, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Chicago.”

He didn’t seem irritated discussing the issue, and certainly wasn’t timid -- we all know that’s not in his DNA.

He genuinely seems excited to deal with the large sum of Sox fans and to call a new place home -- in a city his wife’s fond of no less.

But ultimately, he’s focused on winning, nothing else.

“Every time I’m out there it’s gonna be all I got,” Sale said. "Every time, no matter what. Can promise you that.”