White Sox’ closer Bobby Jenks has taken all kinds of heat from the front office over his weight since the end of the season. A season, mind you, which was interrupted but bouts with kidney stones, a
strained calf muscle and some other ailments which, if you believe Kenny Williams, were basically fat guy injuries. The Sox — while bringing in J.J. Putz to put some pressure on him — decided to give him one last chance, however, and signed him to a $7.5 million deal for 2010. It looks like he’s making the most of his chance:
Bobby Jenks spent the last three months losing weight. The White Sox closer then spent 10 minutes in a closed-door meeting
with general manager Ken Williams and manager Ozzie Guillen on Friday
clearing his conscience.
”He looks the best I’ve ever seen him, and I’m really proud of this
guy,” Williams said. ”As a husband and father, he’s great around his
kids — but just sitting here and looking me and Ozzie right in the
eye, addressing the issues head-on like men, I’m proud of him. Good for
him. Sometimes you’ve got to push some buttons to ultimately get to
Those buttons caused him to lose, in Sun-Times’ writer Joe Cowley’s opinion anyway, something on the order of 30 pounds.
I still don’t think it was right for Williams to have turned Jenks’ weight into a public thing — it’s rude and unprofessional to call your own players out, and focusing on Jenks’ problems probably hurt his trade value at a time the team was listening to offers — but I suppose you can’t argue with the results.
The Mets traded centerfielder Curtis Granderson to the Dodgers for cash considerations or a player to be named later, the teams announced late Friday night. Granderson was rumored to be drawing interest from teams earlier in the week, and found a landing place after slashing .256/.360/.721 since the start of the month. In a corresponding move, the Dodgers designated right-hander Dylan Floro for assignment to clear roster space for the outfielder.
As a whole, the 36-year-old’s 2017 campaign has been a tad underwhelming. Granderson entered Saturday batting .228/.334/.481 with 19 home runs and an .815 OPS through 395 PA, and accrued 1.7 fWAR to the 5.1 fWAR he produced during his pennant-winning, MVP-contending season in 2015. Still, with under $4 million remaining on his contract, another 20+ homer season around the corner and the defensive chops to man center field, it looks like a prudent deal for the Dodgers as they continue to bulldoze their way to the playoffs this fall.
The club has yet to outline their plans for Granderson, but his addition to a crowded outfield could displace centerfielder Joc Pederson, who turned in a meager .214/.329/.415 batting line through 292 PA in 2017. It could also have ramifications for fellow veteran Andre Ethier, assuming he’s healthy enough to compete for a starting role when he comes off the 60-day disabled list in September. The Mets, meanwhile, are expected to lean more heavily on rookie outfielder Brandon Nimmo, who’s made just five starts this season after struggling to get consistent playing time on the field.
Indians’ right-hander Corey Kluber was removed from the sixth inning of his start on Friday night, bringing a streak of 14 starts with 8+ strikeouts to an unfortunate end after he sprained his right ankle. Kluber stumbled off the mound while trying to field a base hit from Eric Hosmer and was seen visibly limping as he moved to cover first base. He was allowed to stay in the game for one more batter, but quickly yielded a three-pitch single to Melky Cabrera and left the mound with head athletic trainer James Quinlan.
It was a poor ending to another strong outing by the right-hander, who delivered 5 1/3 innings of one-run, four-strikeout ball and took his 12th win of the season after the Indians amassed a nine-run lead. Postgame comments by Cleveland skipper Terry Francona suggest that Kluber isn’t facing a serious setback after sustaining the sprain, however, and might even be good to go by the time his next start comes around on Wednesday.
While the Royals escaped Friday’s loss without injury, the 10-1 drubbing pushed them 6.5 games back of the division lead and half a game behind the Twins and Angels for the second AL wild card berth. They’ll host a rematch on Saturday at 7:15 ET, with left-hander Jason Vargas set to face off against Indians’ righty Trevor Bauer.