Wednesday, February 27, 2008

White Sox Staff Differs with Bobby Jenks' Approach

Despite closer Bobby Jenks' back-to-back 40-save seasons, the White Sox coaching staff continues to raise questions not only about the six-foot three, 280-pound round hurler's conditioning, but even his approach to the game.

At 27, Jenks is at an age that sets the stage for his best year yet. As an extra incentive, the possibility of arbitration looms after this season, when he looks to earn considerably more than the $550,000 per year he earns now.

But camp scuttlebutt in Tucson, Ariz., has the staff resisting Jenks' attempt to develop command of one or more offspeed varieties of his fastball, which normally tops out at 96-97 mph.

Jenks -- owner of a 3.26 ERA over the past three seasons -- remains determined to stick with his approach, especially after affirming the correctness of his pitch selection by reviewing video of each batter he faced last year when he retired 41 in a row, equal to the major league record.