The White Sox avoided a fairly major injury scare Thursday night in Chicago.
Ninth-inning man Bobby Jenks was accompanied off the mound in the ninth inning after feeling some pain and discomfort in his back. Not to worry, though, because he was later diagnosed with back spams, according to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, and is likely to be listed as “day-to-day” when it’s all said and done. The big man faced only three batters Thursday, retiring one, allowing a Denard Span single, and walking Orlando Hudson just before being removed.
If he’s deemed unavailable this weekend, quality setup men J.J. Putz and Matt Thornton could see save chances.
Jenks has posted a 4.97 ERA, 1.49 WHIP and a 51/17 K/BB ratio over 41 2/3 innings this season as the White Sox’s closer. He’s converted 23-of-26 save opportunities.
It used to be that the top dog in a team’s baseball operations department was the general manager. That has changed over the past several years with some combination of title inflation, a genuine addition of supervisory layers and, on some level, employe poaching insurance leading to the top dog now being called, usually, a “president of baseball operations.”
Brewers’ general manager David Stearns is the latest to assume that tile, as the club just announced that he has been promoted to Milwaukee’s president of baseball operations. He has also received a contract extension of unknown length.
Not a big shock given how well the Brewers did in 2018, winning the NL Central title and playing in the NLCS. It’s also worth noting — with a nod to that “employee poaching insurance” item above — that Stearns has drawn some interest from other organizations. It’s thus not unfair to see the promotion is both a thanks for a job well done and a means of keeping other teams’ hands off of him, as employees are generally not given permission to interview for lateral moves, but are given permission to interview for promotions.
The Mudville Nine may have wanted to steal him from Milwaukee, but for Stearns to get a promotion from where he is now would require the creation of some other lofty title.