The White Sox will be faced with a big decision regarding closer Bobby Jenks this offseason. Jenks, 29, has been one of the leagues top closers, but his struggles over the second half of the season and his long-term regression cannot go unnoticed.
In 2007, Jenks posted a K/ERA/WHIP of 56/2.77/0.89. Hitters hit just .198 against him. However, in 2008 those numbers fell to 38/2.63/1.10, a very strong season but dramatic changes in strike outs and in WHIP. In 2009, he finished at a line of 49/3.71/1.27, with hitters hitting .250 against him. So far this season, with weeks remaining, he has posted a 61/4.44/1.37 line, with hitters batting .260 against him.
The increase in strike outs would suggest that he still has the makings of an effective reliever. His K/9 fell to 5.5 in 2008 but is back up to 10.42 in 2010. Although, his H/9 are very telling, going from a respectable 6.23 in 2007 to 7.44 in '08, 8.78 in '09, and now currently at 9.23.
Jenks may try to trade the reliever, but most teams may shy away waiting to see if they release him or not. Since Jenks is making 7.5 million dollars this season, and has posted reasonable numbers in some categories, he is due for slight pay increase.
Should the White Sox tender him a contract?
One final word on the matter. White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was asked about Jenks' situation and responded by giving him a nice send off. Interesting...
"Every time he’s been on the mound, he’s been great for us," said Guillen. "We gambled with this kid and it worked pretty good. We win the lottery. This kid was in Double-A and we picked him up and he pitched very well for us. Hopefully we get him back, but that’s someone else’s department. He was great for the White Sox organization."