Jenks with the Boston Red Sox
March 14, 1981 |
Mission Hills, California
|July 6, 2005, for the Chicago White Sox|
|Last MLB appearance|
|July 7, 2011, for the Boston Red Sox|
|Earned run average||3.53|
|Career highlights and awards|
According to the Baseball Almanac, his fastest pitch was clocked at 102 mph on August 27, 2005, at Safeco Field. He also has a slider, changeup, and a hard, sharp-breaking curveball. Jenks is third all-time in saves by a pitcher in a White Sox uniform. Jenks is a two-time All-Star who formerly held the major league record for retiring consecutive batters (41).
Jenks was not able to play with his teammates at Timberlake High School, in Spirit Lake, Idaho or Inglemoor High School in Kenmore, Washington, because of poor grades. Jenks did play his sophomore year of high school for Lakeland High School before Timberlake High School was opened in 1998. Since Jenks was ineligible to play the remaining years of his high school career due to poor academic performance, he played in the Prairie Cardinals American Legion program where he dominated as both a pitcher and hitter. During his final season for the Prairie Cardinals, Jenks had 123 strikeouts in 92 innings pitched.
Jenks was drafted by the Anaheim Angels in the fifth round of the 2000 Major League Baseball Draft. In one minor league game, the radar gun clocked his fastball at 100 mph. During his time with the Angels organization, Jenks spent much of his time on the disabled list because of elbow trouble. Jenks' career with the Angels ended when he was designated for assignment by the team in December 2004.
Chicago White Sox
Jenks was claimed off waivers by the Chicago White Sox for $20,000, and was sent to the club's Double-A affiliate, the Birmingham Barons. Jenks was called up to the major leagues by the White Sox on July 5, 2005. Jenks appeared in each game of the 2005 World Series, pitching a total of five innings, and making the series' final pitch. He recorded saves in Games 1 and 4, had a blown save in Game 2, and pitched scoreless 11th and 12th innings in the 14-inning Game 3. Jenks and Adam Wainwright of the 2006 St. Louis Cardinals are the only rookie closers to earn a save in the clinching game of a World Series.
In 2006, Jenks was selected to the American League All-Star team, and for the season converted 41 out of 45 save opportunities. Jenks was again selected to the American League All-Star team in 2007. On September 25, 2007, Jenks was named as one of 10 finalist for the "DHL Presents the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Year Award". Jenks remains the only White Sox closer to record a save at the All-Star Game, pitching the ninth inning of the 2006 game in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; he and his batterymate at the game, A. J. Pierzynski, were among the several White Sox players who participated in that game.
In 2007, Jenks pursued a record streak of retiring consecutive batters. On August 10, 2007, Jenks retired his 38th consecutive hitter, Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners, to tie the American League record for most consecutive batters retired in a row, set by David Wells between May 12, 1998, and May 23, 1998, then with the New York Yankees.
On August 12, 2007, in a game against the Seattle Mariners, Jenks retired his 41st consecutive batter, the Mariners' Yuniesky Betancourt, tying the Major League record held by San Francisco Giants pitcher Jim Barr, set over two games on August 23, 1972, and August 29, 1972. On August 20, 2007, Jenks allowed a base hit by Kansas City Royals outfielder Joey Gathright, ending his streak of 41 consecutive batters retired. However, Jenks was still able to get a save during the game. Jenks' record is unique in that the previous record holders were starting pitchers. Wells' achievement bookended a perfect game that he pitched on May 17, 1998. Barr's achievement was spread across two games, neither of which was a no-hitter. In contrast Jenks was perfect for 14 appearances over 27 days (July 17 - August 12). His teammate Mark Buehrle broke the record for most consecutive batters retired on July 28, 2009 ending with 45 in a row.
On January 19, 2009, Jenks avoided arbitration and signed a one-year $5.6 million contract.
On December 2, 2010, the White Sox declined to tender him a contract and he became a free agent.
Boston Red Sox
After the 2010 season, Jenks signed a two-year, $12 million contract with the Boston Red Sox. Jenks struggled for much of 2011 with injuries, going on the disabled list three times during the season. On September 14, 2011 the Red Sox announced that Jenks had been diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism. He pitched in 19 games during the season, going 2-2 with an ERA of 6.32.
On December 12, Jenks had another surgery, this time to remove bone spurs from his back. He was supposed to have only two removed. According to Jenks, Dr. Kirkham Wood, the head of Massachusetts General Hospital's orthopedic bone unit, started to remove a third bone spur and didn't finish it. The part Wood left in created a serrated edge that sliced Jenks' back open in two places, causing him to leak spinal fluid and triggering an infection in his spine. Jenks was forced to undergo emergency surgery on December 28, only two weeks after his first back procedure. Although his back was still sensitive from the first surgery, Jenks had no choice but to have emergency surgery right away. Otherwise, the infection could have gone all the way to his brain and possibly killed him. Due to his muscles being "torn open," as he put it, Jenks was bedridden for seven weeks. The Red Sox placed Jenks on the 60-day disabled list, and ruled him out for at least the first three months of the season.
On July 3, 2012, he was released by the Red Sox.
On March 23, 2012, Jenks was arrested at 3:43 AM EST for DUI, property damage, and hit-and-run.
- "The Joy of Baseball". theweekbehind.com. Archived from the original on February 28, 2006.
- "Jenks earns second All-Star bid". MLB.com. 2007-07-01. Retrieved 2007-08-20.
- "Sox muzzled by Weaver". MLB.com. 2007-08-12. Retrieved 2007-08-12.
- "Aug 21, 2007, Royals at White Sox Play by Play and Box Score". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC.
- Gyr, Alex (August 21, 2007). "Jenks' amazing run comes to an end". Chicago White Sox News. Major League Baseball.
- "Chicago - Chicago : News : Politics : Things To Do : Sports". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on December 5, 2010.
- McDonald, Joe. Bobby Jenks had serious back issue. ESPN, 2012-02-23.
- Morais, Didier. Bobby Jenks Striving to Overcome Botched Back Surgery That Could Have Been Fatal. NESN, 2012-02-23.
- Britton, Tim. Jenks’ bad year was followed by scary offseason. The Providence Journal, 2012-02-24.
- Calcaterra, Craig. "Bobby Jenks was arrested for DUI and hit-and-run at 4AM this morning".