BOSTON — It is an understatement to say that Bobby Jenks' first season with the Red Sox has not gone well. The right-handed reliever, signed to a two-year, $12 million deal last winter, has made three trips to the disabled list.
His most recent stint, which began in July, just doesn't want to end, and with each passing day it is becoming harder and harder to envision Jenks being a factor down the stretch.
"He looks like he's been through the ringer," Terry Francona said of Jenks, whose most recent rehab outing was scratched due to his second illness in the past few weeks. "He's lost a ton of weight. Just trying to get him back up on his feet and feeling good. Hopefully tomorrow I'll have better news."
That's been the hope for some time now. But Jenks, who hasn't thrown much more than a simulated game early last week in Fort Myers, is an uncertain commodity for a team that could use another trustworthy arm before Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon.
Jenks has appeared in just nine games since April.
The hope is that he soon regains his strength, gets in a rehab outing or two in the limited opportunities that remain and can take a positive from resting his arm all these weeks. That may be wishful thinking.
"The hope is that you got a guy that's fresh," Francona said. "The other side of that is that he hasn't pitched. And to think that a guy can come back and be in midseason form after throwing two innings is probably, I don't know how realistic that is."
Francona said that the Red Sox will add a pitcher with September call-ups, although he did not say who it will be.