Former Chicago White Sox closer Bobby Jenks has been out of baseball for three seasons. Struggling with an addiction to pain pills and three serious back surgeries, Jenks recently spoke with Scott Merkin of MLB.com and expressed his desire to pitch again in the big leagues.
Mentally, I’m still 100 percent in the game,” Jenks said from his Malibu, Calif., home. “Even if [a return] is only for a year or two, knowing I got through everything and conquered this part of my life and finish how I want to finish … .”
When last we saw Jenks in 2011, he was struggling out of the bullpen for the Boston Red Sox. He pitched only 19 games that season with a 6.32 ERA. In the article Jenks recalls his tenure with Boston:
“It was a disaster. The guys were great, but it was one thing after another…
“…In that second week in, I tore my biceps. I got back and pitched, and my back kicked in. Then, I rehabbed my back in the Minors and developed a blood clot in my lung. It was an absolute nightmare.”
He then required multiple operations. In Merkin’s piece Jenks recalls a terrifying incident where he almost died in the aftermath of an operation. Currently he is rehabbing from a spinal fusion surgery.
While with the White Sox Jenks enjoyed significant success. He has 173 saves in his seven-year career and a World Series ring from his contributions in 2005.
At 6’4″ and 275 pounds, Jenks’s success was predicated on his ability to throw hard. He will be 33 when the 2014 season starts, so it’s hard to imagine him regaining that form. But after all he’s been through, who’s going to cheer against him?
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