Bobby Jenks was in rehab when the Red Sox cut ties with him last season

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Evan Drellich of MassLive.com reports that when the Red Sox and Bobby Jenks went their separate ways last July, the veteran reliever was in the middle of a 45-day stay at a luxury rehab clinic in Malibu, California.

Jenks was admitted to the clinic on June 7,  nearly 10 weeks after he was arrested and charged with a DUI in Fort Myers, Florida. In the incident report, Jenks claimed that he “took too many muscle relaxers.”

The Red Sox reached a contract settlement with Jenks before releasing him on July 3. He then left the clinic two weeks later.

The DUI charge was settled in December after Jenks pleaded no contest to reckless driving and hitting a parked car. He was required to complete a rehab program as part of his probation.

Jenks signed a two-year, $12 million contract with the Red Sox in December of 2010, but he ended up making only 19 appearances with the club. The 32-year-old didn’t pitch at all last season following multiple back surgeries and a pulmonary embolism in his lung. He is currently unsigned.

No one pounds the zone anymore

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“Work fast and throw strikes” has long been the top conventional wisdom for those preaching pitching success. The “work fast” part of that has increasingly gone by the wayside, however, as pitchers take more and more time to throw pitches in an effort to max out their effort and, thus, their velocity with each pitch.

Now, as Ben Lindbergh of The Ringer reports, the “throw strikes” part of it is going out of style too:

Pitchers are throwing fewer pitches inside the strike zone than ever previously recorded . . . A decade ago, more than half of all pitches ended up in the strike zone. Today, that rate has fallen below 47 percent.

There are a couple of reasons for this. Most notable among them, Lindbergh says, being pitchers’ increasing reliance on curves, sliders and splitters as primary pitches, with said pitches not being in the zone by design. Lindbergh doesn’t mention it, but I’d guess that an increased emphasis on catchers’ framing plays a role too, with teams increasingly selecting for catchers who can turn balls that are actually out of the zone into strikes. If you have one of those beasts, why bother throwing something directly over the plate?

There is an unintended downside to all of this: a lack of action. As Lindbergh notes — and as you’ve not doubt noticed while watching games — there are more walks and strikeouts, there is more weak contact from guys chasing bad pitches and, as a result, games and at bats are going longer.

As always, such insights are interesting. As is so often the case these days, however, such insights serve as an unpleasant reminder of why the on-field product is so unsatisfying in so many ways in recent years.