With closer Bobby Jenks struggling Ozzie Guillen said before last night’s game that he’d go with matchups in the ninth inning, but Jenks ended up getting the save anyway after Guillen used southpaw Matt Thornton in the eighth inning versus left-handed hitters Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau.
Thornton may have gotten the save chance had Minnesota’s big lefty bats been up in the ninth inning instead, but clearly Jenks hasn’t totally lost his grip on the job. And clearly he thinks that’s the way it should be, because here’s what Jenks had to say about the whole situation after notching his sixth save of the season:
That’s the thing I don’t understand, all the stuff going on. I mean it’s one game. Everyone is hitting the panic button in f***ing April. Chill out. I don’t want to say everything I want to say, but it was one bad game. The game before that I gave up a solo home run, the wind is blowing out 20 mph, what are you going to do? I really don’t want to comment on it too much because I really don’t want to start anything, but it was one game. It was one f***ing game. Things happen.
I’m not normally someone who sticks up for White Sox, but Jenks is absolutely right. He’s no longer the elite, dominant closer he was a few years ago and may pitch himself out of the job at some point, but he certainly hasn’t done it yet with just one blown save in seven tries and 17 strikeouts in 13 innings.
I also liked this Jenks quote, about giving up a double to former teammate Jim Thome last night: “He keeps doing that, I know where he lives. I’ll just toilet paper his house.”
The Giants have acquired All-Star infielder Eduardo Nunez from the Twins in exchange for minor league pitcher Adalberto Mejia, the club announced on Thursday night.
Nunez, 29, went 0-for-4 in Thursday night’s game against the Orioles. He’s hitting .296/.325/.439 with 12 home runs, 47 RBI, 49 runs scored, and a league-best 26 stolen bases in 391 plate appearances this season. Nunez has played mostly at shortstop this season, but has also logged significant time at third base and a handful of games at second base, so he’ll give the Giants some versatility.
Nunez will likely play a lot of third base for the Giants as Matt Duffy is still sidelined with a strained left Achilles. He’s earning $1.475 million this season and will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility heading into 2017.
Mejia, 23, was considered the Giants’ seventh-best prospect by MLB Pipeline. He earned a promotion to Triple-A Sacramento last month after posting a 1.94 ERA with Double-A Richmond. In seven starts with Sacramento, he has a 4.20 ERA with a 43/11 K/BB ratio in 40 2/3 innings.
With a roster spot open, the Twins called up infield prospect Jorge Polanco from Triple-A Rochester, per MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger.
Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY reports that the Mariners have received “strong” trade interest for starter Taijuan Walker. The right-hander is currently on the mend from tendinitis in his right foot. He’ll throw a bullpen on Friday at Wrigley Field with scouts in attendance.
Walker, 23, has a 3.66 ERA with an 80/18 K/BB ratio in 86 innings this season. It’s his first bit of sustained success at the major league level. What’s arguably just as intriguing is the fact that Walker will be under team control through 2020.
The Mariners have been hovering around .500 for the last month and entered Thursday six games behind the first-place Rangers in the AL West and 4.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot, behind three other teams as well as the two Wild Card leaders. It’s enough uncertainty which could push the Mariners to sell.