Bobby Jenks: Day laborer

Bobby Jenks had tied together three consecutive three-up, three-down saves before blowing Thursday’s opportunity.
My feelings are the same as they were before, which were the same as they were before. I don’t really care who pitches the ninth inning as long as leads keep getting there.
Ozzie Guillen reacted differently this time:

“You know what?” Guillen said before a long pause. “Ask Bobby what he wants to do. I don’t know. I don’t say we’ve lost confidence, but when your closer gives up one run (that’s acceptable).
“The last three times he blew the game, he gave up three or four runs. Right now, I don’t know yet. Like I keep saying, when Bobby’s the closer, our bullpen is better. But right now, I’ve got to wait and see what I’m going to do for next couple of days.”

It’s hard to find a common thread besides crappier pitches. His previous blown save had taken place on zero days’ rest, but he was well rested in the debacle against Minnesota.
His fastball was slower against Detroit, clocking only 94.7 m.p.h., after he had average 97, 96 and 96 in his three successful saves. He also threw four different kinds of pitches against the Tigers.
But I like the theory evenyoudorn (great name) threw out there in the last discussion: Day games. Updating the numbers he gave:

  • Day Jenks: 1-2, 9.18 ERA, 9/11 SV, .329/.402/.479
  • Night Jenks: 0-1, 2.28 ERA, 14/15 SV, .218/.284/.287

Day Jenks also blew the save tagged to Sergio Santos against Minnesota, which should make him 9-for-12.
Usually there’s nothing to day/night splits but small sample size issues, but given that Jenks is damn close to unknowable, it might make sense to try finding performance hints wherever they might exist.
Minor league roundup:

  • Jacksonville 3, Birmingham 2
    • Charles Leesman was OK: 5 1/3 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K.
    • Kyle Bellamy threw a scoreless inning, with a walk, hit and strikeout.
    • Justin Greene hit his first Double-A homer, a solo shot.
    • Christian Marrero went 1-for-4 with a strikeout.
  • Great Falls 11, Missoula 1
    • Ross Wilson went 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI.
    • Andy Wilkins singled, walked twice and struck out over six PAs.
  • Charlotte vs. Toledo SUSPENDED
  • Winston-Salem vs. Frederick PPD
  • Kannapolis vs. Greensboro PPD
  • Bristol vs. Johnson City PPD
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Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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I had someone mention this tonight in the bar. I’d never noticed it, but those numbers don’t lie. A 9 ERA is insane, especially given 11 save opportunities.
I mean, I’d read he’s living a clean and sober life, but trouble acclimating to the earlier games sure sounds like something I know a little about.


Seconded. He pitches in the day like he hasn’t shaken off the last night’s drunk.


What got me is that at night, batters are hitting Bobby like Scott Sizemore (remember him?), while during the day they’re hitting him like Jack Cust with a better average.
(I wanted to go with a sexier name than Jack Cust- Prince Fielder,Ryan Howard, Adrian Gonzalez are all quite close- but Cust’s numbers fit the best.)


At this point I still think he’s worth going to in the 9th but I wouldn’t re-sign him this offseason. He won’t be worth the $8-$9mil salary.
Did anyone notice that 2 of 3 of the saves came on Freddy’s start?
I asked this before but I’m not sure if it was answered. Does Jenks call his pitches or Pierzynski? If Pierzynski then he should take some heat for not calling more fastballs.


Hasn’t Castro caught the Minnesota and Detroit blow-ups? Was he catching in Seattle? Just a thought.


You might be right. He catches Garcia so that would be the Min and Det games. Seattle was extra innings so he could have been a late sub.


Maybe im oversimplifying things but my eyes tell me everything i need to know about Jenks. When he rears back and fires the ball 97+ 4 seamer or whatever, and concentrates on just one off speed pitch preferably his curve, he gets it over more often and is absolutely unhittable. When Jenks messes around with his cutter, sinker, slider, curve, and changeup, he controls nothing but the fastball, fools noone, hangs his breaking stuff and gets his tits lit. Thats my explanation, although the not shocking off last nights drinking binge explains the day night splits possibly!


I think that’s usually the case, but seemed like last night was just fastball/curve wasn’t it? I’m wondering if he loses confidence in his command on the curve (which wasn’t on last night – I don’t think he threw it for a single strike and plunked Santiago with it) then abandons it to screw around with that other junk…


several cutters and changeups last night


I assume the problem is that he just hasn’t had a feel for his curve much this year. It’s actually his worst pitch in 2010 by linear weights. He’s thrown it less and less often each year for the last five years, even though it’s his most valuable pitch during that time.
I think he just lost the feel for the curve and has been unsuccessfully groping about looking for something to replace it.


Seattle debacle was a late night game w/AJ catching……..


Also, day games would be games that Castro would be more likely to catch since Ozzie likes to sub him for AJ following night games.


I’m with Knox. Anytime he throws something other than the curve or fastball, Jenks gets torched. Sine Kenny didn’t trade him for a bag of balls like I suggested a couple of weeks ago maybe Ozzie can push Jenks back to the 7th inning in night games only. If that doesn’t send him a message then release him!! Jenks has turned into a stupid tub of lard!


Pulls of the blond goatee awful well for a rotund fella though…so he’s got that going for him…


you know what’s amazing, is that he doesn’t even realize he’s not pitching well. he defends himself like he’s a border line hall of famer. well mr. bobby, you sir haven’t done shit. go look at the top save leaders in MLB and notice to most impressive coincidence amongst all of them…they all have sub 3.00 ERAs, let along sub 5.00 which he can’t even manage. Now, i wouldn’t go as far as to release him, but i agree there’s no need to resign him. He’ll bring in a compensation pick and you move on in the offseason.


I can kinda understand his frustration. He’s striking out three guys for every one he walks and getting grounders at a good clip. His FIP and his xFIP are ridiculously low compared to his ERA. On paper he’s pitching great. But something is keeping him from being successful, most likely pitch selection or sequencing.
And he’s not a free agent, so I don’t they’re going to get a compensation pick for him. They have to either re-sign him, go to arbitration, or non-tender him.


He shook off Castro on the Raburn home run. It would be interesting to know what Castro wanted.
I agree with Guillen, they are better with Jenks closing. He’s got the stuff when he keeps it simple.
He might perform better under the old paradigm of not bringing in the closer unless there are runners on base. I think that would sharpen his concentration.


HAHA, if this is true, wouldn’t it have been funny if Castro pulled a Bull Durham where he was pissed that the pitcher shook him off so he told the batter what was coming?


I guess this is my cue to dust off the old Saber Handbook…but according to, well, just about everyone (i.e. Bill James, BP, FanGraphs), isn’t it more valuable to have your best relievers take on most of the workload (and highest leverage) in the 6,7,8th innings vs Closer, whose job it is to acquire a glorified and meaningless statistic?
Look, I know Bobby blowing leads isn’t exactly ideal, but with the way Thornton and Putz have been throwing, I’d rather have them pitching MORE and in tougher situations than Bobby, which is what’s been happening.
Oh, and the Sox are in the first!


It is a good thing we have three other guys who are closer material, Putz, Thornton, and Santos. The teams who are successful have players that can step in when their regulars are not performing. I don’t see Bobby losing his closer primary role but I do see him being challenged more to keep it. It’s a good thing that this clubhouse is pro platoon and that the platoon system is part of the chemistry. Otherwise, we would have a premadonna mental meltdown with Bobby.


Brent Lillibridge’s mom just wrote a guest column for Rotowire and said that since Brent Lillibridge is gaining CF eligibility he should be owned in ALL fantasy baseball formats.