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

Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Former major leaguer Andy Marte, a one-time top prospect in the Red Sox organization, was killed in a car crash in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. He was 33.

Marte was killed the same day that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Ventura was 25. Coincidentally, Ventura was the Royals starting pitcher in Marte's final major league game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014.

Marte, drafted by the Braves in 2000, was ranked the No. 9 prospect in baseball in 2005 when the third baseman was traded to the Red Sox as part of the deal that sent shortstop Edgar Renteria to Atlanta and Marte became the top-ranked prospect in the Red Sox organization.  

Marte was traded by the Red Sox to the Indians in 2006 in the deal that sent Coco Crisp to Boston and spent five seasons with Cleveland. His best season was 2009 (.232, six home runs, 25 RBI in 47 games). After a six-game stint with Arizona in 2014, he played in South Korea the past two years.  

Metropolitan traffic authorities in the Dominican told the Associated Press that Marte died when a car he was driving his a house along the highway between San Francisco de Macoris and Pimentel, about 95 miles (150 kilometers) north of the capital.
 

Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car crash in in the Dominican Republic on Sunday morning, according to multiple reports. Ventura was 25 years old.

Highway patrol spokesman Jacobo Mateo told the Associated Press that Ventura died on a highway leading to the town of Juan Adrian, about 40 miles (70 kilometers) northwest of Santo Domingo. He says it's not clear if Ventura was driving.

Ventura was killed the same day former major leaguer Andy Marte died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Coincidentally, Ventura was the starting pitcher in Marte's final MLB game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014. 

Ventura was 13-8 with a 4.08 ERA for the Royals' 2015 World Series champions and 11-12 with a 4.45 ERA in 32 starts in 2016. The right-hander made his major league debut in 2013 and in 2014 went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA for Kansas City's A.L. pennant winners. 

Ironically, Ventura paid tribute to his good friend and fellow Dominican, Oscar Tavares, who was also killed in a car crash in the D.R. in October 2014, by wearing Tavares' initials and R.I.P. on his cap before Ventura's start in Game 6 of the World Series in 2014. 

Ventura is the second current major league player to die in the past five months. Former Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident in Miami on Sept. 25.