Red Sox reliever Bobby Jenks threw a scoreless rehab inning on Saturday for Double-A Portland, needing only 13 pitches. It was enough to convince the Boston brass that he is ready to begin contributing again at the major league level.
According to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com, Jenks will not make another rehab appearance and has been cleared to rejoin the Red Sox bullpen in time for Tuesday night’s series-opener against the Phillies.
Jenks is not off to a great start in Boston, sporting a 6.57 ERA and 14/11 K/BB ratio through his first 12 1/3 frames, but the Red Sox are going to chalk those early struggles up to bad health and hope for better in the future. The 30-year-old former closer still carries a strong 3.51 career ERA and 1.25 career WHIP.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.