Sox Drawer: Bobby on the brink

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Sox Drawer: Bobby on the brink

Friday, Aug. 3, 2010
7:08 PM

By Chuck Garfien
CSNChicago.com

Bobby Jenks used to have a stranglehold on the White Sox closer position.

Now, hes simply strangling himself. And even his biggest supporter, manager Ozzie Guillen is losing patience.

Right now the situation is not about friendship, its not about I like you or not, its about winning, and Im going to give Jenks the opportunity to come back and do it again, Guillen said before Friday nights game in Baltimore. But in the meanwhile, if he cant do the job, were going to find someone else to do it. If he doesnt see what I see, he better open his eyes.

If Bobby hasnt seen it, he can take a gander at some of his recent numbers. Theyre not pretty.

In the second half, hes 0-2 with a 10.37 ERA and four saves.

During the day, hes 1-2, 9.38 ERA (compared to 0-1, 2.28 ERA at night).

But if youre looking for the most troubling statistic, the main cause for the Jenks ulcer that has creeped into so many of your stomachs when he takes the mound, its probably this:

In Jenks' three losses this year, his ERA is ... 216.00.

You read that correctly.

216.00.

That sound you just heard were baseball computers around the country blowing up in unison.

How did this happen?

In his three losses against the Blue Jays, Twins, and Mariners (my guess is you remember them), Jenks gave up nine hits and 10 runs, while recording just one out -- a sacrifice in Seattle by Ichiro Suzuki which got Jack Wilson to second, who scored the tying run moments ahead of the winning run by Chone Figgins.

All told, hitters in his three losses are a perfect 9-for-9. Batting average: 1.000.

But as we know, Bobbys struggles arent limited to just these three losses.

There was the three-run homer he gave up to the Tigers' Ryan Raburn on Thursday, not to mention the three he surrendered in the ninth against the Indians on May 26. There were also the two runs he allowed to both Texas and Seattle back in April. The Sox fortunately won all of four of these games, or else Jenks record would be much worse than 1-3.

Guillen can accept it when his closer gives up one run every once in a while. Its the two- and three-run implosions that can crush a baseball team and eventually terminate a closer.

Bobby is currently on life support.

Guillen said before Fridays game that Jenks should be ready to close tonight. But when asked if hes still Ozzies guy, Guillen replied quite cryptically, Today, yes. Then well see what happens today, and figure it out later.

By the way, the team Jenks has the highest ERA against in his career -- Baltimore: 7.98.

Bill Melton and I will be on the set for U.S. Cellular White Sox Postgame live tonight. Hopefully, were talking about a Bobby Jenks revival instead of a man clinging for closing survival.

Chuck Garfien hosts White Sox Pregame and Postgame Live on Comcast SportsNet with former Sox slugger Bill Melton. Follow Chuck @ChuckGarfien on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox news and views.

Derek Holland ends spring on strong note as White Sox down Dodgers

Derek Holland ends spring on strong note as White Sox down Dodgers

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Derek Holland ended a productive spring with his best outing to date on Monday afternoon.

Healthy and excited to officially kick off his White Sox career, Holland delivered six strong innings in a 5-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday. The left-hander allowed two earned runs and five hits in six innings pitched, walking two and striking out one. Holland is expected to pitch once more in Milwaukee on Saturday before pitching in the third game of the regular season.

“Definitely feel good,” Holland said. “Feel very confident with everything, very happy with how the spring went. I worked on what we needed to work on to get myself ready for the season and stay healthy and I’m very happy with that. But most of all when you get out there and pitch, the defense, you have to keep them on their toes, and I thought the last out was the perfect example of that.”

Holland was referring to a nice diving catch by Jacob May that prevented at least one run from scoring. The longtime Texas Rangers pitcher was pleased to have established his fastball early and mixed in his offspeed pitches and changeup.

“I wanted to make sure we were going the distance,” Holland said. “I didn’t want to have a setback, and I thought we did a great job.”

The White Sox appear to have narrowly avoided one setback on Monday and are awaiting word on another. An X-ray on the left wrist of infielder Tyler Saladino was negative after he was hit by a pitch while getting in work in a pair of minor-league games. Saladino has been diagnosed with a bruised wrist.

The team is still awaiting word on pitcher Jake Petricka, who took a comebacker off his pitching hand in the seventh inning. Petricka exited the game, got his hand wrapped in ice and left to take an X-ray.

The White Sox are also waiting to learn the results of Carlos Rodon’s second opinion. Rodon was scratched from Friday’s start with a tight bicep tendon and had a physical exam and took an MRI, both of which showed he had no structural damage. Rodon traveled to Los Angeles early Monday for the second opinion with Dr. Neal ElAttrache.

Even if he receives the all clear, the White Sox will remain cautious, manager Rick Renteria said. “It’s almost like you have to re-start the process a little bit,” Renteria said. “It would be foolish to try to anticipate or push him into any direction without first of all ultimately having whatever the diagnosis is or the validation or whatever it might be of the second opinion. Once we get that, we’ll know hopefully tomorrow how we can ultimately proceed. I wouldn’t think we’d try to ramp him up quickly.”

The club also expects to have more clarity on the status of right-handed pitcher Juan Minaya on Tuesday. Minaya, who has been out since March 15 with an abdominal tear, was re-evaluated on Monday. Minaya had a 3.18 ERA and nine strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings this spring.

Matt Davidson also had two hits in the White Sox victory and drove in a run. Melky Cabrera hit a solo homer, his first of the spring. Yolmer Sanchez blasted his third homer of the spring, a two-run shot.

Zach Putnam struck out two in a scoreless inning.

With season a week away, Todd Frazier is 'right where I need to be'

With season a week away, Todd Frazier is 'right where I need to be'

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- After he pulled the ball more than ever in 2016, Todd Frazier has worked to hit it the opposite way more often this spring. Even if he struggled.

But as the Opening Day nears, Frazier doesn’t want to cheat himself. Though he struggled last season, Frazier hit a career-high 40 homers. That kind of success means Frazier will continue to pull a pitch if it’s where he likes it. That approach led to a double and Frazier’s first home run of the spring in a 5-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers at Camelback Ranch. Both balls were hit to left field.

“I’ve been working on a lot of things and sometimes when you work on something the results aren’t going to be there,” Frazier said. “But I still stay true to myself. And once we start getting going here, pretty close, close as can be -- it’s time to have those things in the back of your mind. But at the same time, you have to hit it where the pitch is and put in play. I was working on a lot of things. I was still trying to go right field, couldn’t get it out there. And now you go to what you know best and just react.”

According to fangraphs.com, Frazier hit 22.8 percent of all balls he put in play to right field last year, which is actually above his career mark of 22.5 percent. But en route to slashing .225/.302/.464, Frazier saw a second consecutive dramatic drop in the number of balls he hit to center. Of the balls Frazier put in play, only 28.5 percent went up the middle, down from 37.7 percent in 2014 when he produced a career-best wRC+ of 122.

To correct that trend, Frazier has worked to give himself a better chance to hit outside pitches the opposite way. Now that his focus is back on hitting to all fields, Frazier thought it was a good sign to homer with a week left before the season starts.

“It feels good,” Frazier said. “It’s showing I’m in the right place. It was a changeup and I’ve been out in front on a lot of those. I’ve got about 10 or 12 more at-bats before the season starts and it’s go time. Get back in the rhythm of things. Whatever you worked on, keep that there. If it’s outside now I have that weapon too as well. I’m right where I need to be.”