Bobby Jenks has been the man in the ninth inning for the Chicago White Sox for most of the past four seasons, but at least for the immediate future, that no longer is the case.
Manager Ozzie Guillen said Tuesday he will choose his closer based on matchups while Jenks works through his struggles.
“It depends on who is the hitter,” Guillen said. “That’s all I can tell you. I’m going to be leaving that open right now. I have a few choices.”
Guillen said the decision is not a punishment or demotion for Jenks, who still could pitch in the ninth depending on the hitters who are due to bat. Guillen said it’s about getting Jenks back to where he was as one of the more reliable closers in the American League.
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Jenks has 151 career saves, including back-to-back 40-save seasons in 2006 and 2007. He stumbled a little bit last year, tying a career high with six blown save opportunities and allowing nine homers, the most by any AL closer.
The shakiness has carried over to 2010. Jenks is 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA and picked up his first blown save in six opportunities during Sunday’s loss to Toronto.
“This is not about losing his job,” Guillen said. “This is just about putting him back where he was. Right now, he’s a little off. As soon as he’s back where he was, he’s got his job back.”
Other options that Guillen will consider over the next few games include right-handers J.J. Putz — a former All-Star closer with the Seattle Mariners — and Sergio Santos and lefty Matt Thornton, another ex-Mariner.
Houston Astros outfielder Michael Bourn has been suspended two games for making contact with an umpire, but he will remain in the lineup while he appeals.
Bourn also was fined an undisclosed amount for his actions during the 2-1 loss to San Diego on Saturday.
“It was just a heat of the moment thing at the time,” Bourn said. “We’ll see what happens. Just go through the appeal process.”
Manager Brad Mills was in full support.
“I was sad to see it was two games just because of the way it happened,” Mills said. “It was just accidental, totally.”
Bourn thought he beat out a bouncer leading off the ninth inning, but first-base umpire Alfonso Marquez called him out. Bourn ripped off his helmet, and Marquez ejected the center fielder.
AROUND THE HORN
Boston manager Terry Francona said pitcher Josh Beckett will probably miss Friday’s start because back spasms kept him from making his usual off-day workout. … Boston outfielder Mike Cameron, recovering from a lower abdominal strain, was 1-for-3 in his second rehabilitation game for the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox. … Minnesota put shortstop J.J. Hardy on the 15-day disabled list with a bruised left wrist. … The three-game series between the Phillies and Blue Jays on June 25-27 has been relocated from Toronto to Philadelphia because of the G20 Summit. World leaders will gather June 26-27 at a convention center near Toronto’s Rogers Centre. The rescheduled games will be considered home games of the Blue Jays, who will bat last, and the DH will be used. … Colorado lefty Franklin Morales has been placed on the 15-day DL with weakness in his left shoulder. … San Diego right-hander Kevin Correia was placed on the bereavement list following the death of his younger brother, who fell off a cliff while hiking Saturday in California.