Name: Bobby Jenks
Years With White Sox: 2005-2010
Bobby Jenks joined the White Sox organization on December 17, 2004, when he was selected off waivers from the Angels. After starting the year in Double A Birmingham, he was called up to the big league club on July 5 and made his major league debut the following day, throwing a scoreless inning against the Devil Rays at US Cellular Field. When Shingo Takatsu proved ineffective and Dustin Hermanson went down with a back injury, Jenks became the closer in September. He finished the regular season with 6 saves, to go along with a 1-1 record and a 2.75 ERA. In the ALDS against the Red Sox, he threw 3 scoreless innings and picked up 2 saves in the 3 game sweep. Thanks to the 4 complete games in the ALCS against the Angels, Jenks was well rested for the World Series. He appeared in all 4 games against the Astros, throwing 5 innings and earning the save in Games 1 and 4.
With a World Championship under his belt, Jenks became the full time closer in 2006. He earned his first All Star nod, and became the first White Sox pitcher to notch a save in the Mid-Summer Classic. Despite a 4.00 ERA, he finished the year with 41 saves in 45 chances while compiling a 3-4 record.
2007 was a down year for the White Sox, but a good one for Jenks. He made his second straight All Star team and lowered his ERA to 2.77. He tied a major league record on August 12, when he retired 41st consecutive batter, becoming the first reliever to achieve the feat. He finished the year with 40 saves and a 3-5 record in 66 appearances.
Jenks continued his dominant ways in 2008, as the White Sox bounced back in to contention. He finished with a winning record for the only time in his career and set a career low with a 2.63 ERA. He notched 30 saves and helped the White Sox return to the post season for the first time since his rookie year. He threw a scoreless inning in picking up the save in the only White Sox victory in the ALDS against the Rays.
In 2009, Jenks started to struggle, as his ERA and WHIP were up while his strikeouts were down. Finishing the year with a 3-4 record, his ERA was 3.71 and his save total dropped to 29, his lowest full-season total to date.
2010 was Jenks’ worst year with the White Sox. His ERA rose again, to 4.44, and his WHIP was up again as well. Despite his highest strike out total since 2006, he ended the year with a 1-3 record and only 27 saves. Following the season, the White Sox declined to tender him a contract for the 2011 season, making him a free agent.
Jenks’ numbers in a White Sox uniform, both for games I attended and overall, were:
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