Kenny Williams to Bobby Jenks: slim down, fatty

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Over the weekend, Bobby Jenks complained that the White Sox brass keep getting on him for being out of shape.  Kenny Williams isn’t all that interested in backing off:

“If he’s upset that it’s continuously brought up, then he should work on it and get it to where it’s not an issue . . . It is an issue. I’ve told him this directly to his face. If he’s going to have an extended career of effectiveness at a high level, like he certainly is capable of doing, then he has to take better care of himself.”

Kenny Williams is absolutely right to expect that his players be in tip-top shape and to accept no excuses when they fail to take care of themselves.  These guys have one job, and that’s to perform in physical competition with other athletes.  If someone isn’t on board with that, Heaven help them.

Kenny Williams is absolutely wrong, however, to say word one about this in public.  For one thing, it’s rude and unprofessional to call your own players out, just as it would be rude and unprofessional for any employer to call out his own employees’ shortcomings in a public forum.  Your TPS reports may not always have a cover sheet on them, but you don’t want your boss telling the newspaper about it, do you?

But it’s dumb on an even more basic level than that.  The GM’s primary job is to build his roster. One of the primary ways to build the roster is through trades.  Kenny Williams, it has been said, is even interesting in trading Bobby Jenks if given the right offer.  Fact: other GMs read newspapers.  Fact: when Kenny Williams slams his own player in public, other GMs will draw the inescapable conclusion that Kenny Williams doesn’t value Bobby Jenks all that much. Fact: because of that, Kenny Williams will get fewer and/or lower offers for Bobby Jenks as a result of him running down the guy in the Sun-Times or wherever.

Insist on the best, Kenny, but keep your criticisms in-house. To do otherwise only hurts the ballclub.

Dave Roberts: Clayton Kershaw could be activated on Tuesday

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 17:  Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers heads to the dugout at the end of the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Dodger Stadium on May 17, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said that there is a possibility that starter Clayton Kershaw will be activated after throwing a simulated game on Tuesday, Alanna Rizzo of SportsNet LA reports. Kershaw threw a 60-pitch bullpen session on Friday. His activation depends on how he feels coming out of the simulated game.

Kershaw, 28, has been out since late June with mild disk herniation in his lower back. There was some consternation last month that the lefty might need back surgery, but he seems to have moved past that worry.

At the time he hit the disabled list, Kershaw was a front-runner for the National League Cy Young Award, owning an 11-2 record with a 1.79 ERA and a 145/9 K/BB ratio in 121 innings.

The Dodgers entered play Monday with a two-game lead over the Giants in the NL West. Needless to say, getting Kershaw back bolsters their odds of winning the division.

Pirates place Gerrit Cole on the disabled list with elbow inflammation

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 24:  Gerrit Cole #45 of the Pittsburgh Pirates delivers a pitch in the first inning during the game against the Houston Astros at PNC Park on August 24, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
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Starter Gerrit Cole has been placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to August 25, with posterior inflammation of his right elbow, the Pirates announced. Pitcher Steven Brault has been recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis for Monday night’s start against the Cubs.

Cole was scratched from Monday’s start on Sunday and instead traveled to Los Angeles to be examined by Dr. Neal ElAttrache. The right-hander previously underwent an MRI which ruled out structural damage.

Cole hits the shelf with a 3.55 ERA and a 95/32 K/BB ratio over 114 innings. The Pirates entered play Monday a half game out of the second National League Wild Card slot, so losing him for at least two more weeks will sting.