Injuries Open Door To Toronto For Jenkins
TORONTO—Righthander Chad Jenkins admits that from Double-A New Hampshire it was hard not to notice as the injuries piled up with the major league club.
"We always leave the (Blue Jays) game on in the clubhouse and, unfortunately, it seemed like every night we walked in someone was going down, which is sad to see because I don't like to see someone get hurt," said Jenkins, who spent most of the season with New Hampshire.
At the same time, the injuries created major league opportunities for players in the minors looking up—like Jenkins.
"There's always that excitement, you might think it might be you," he said. "But that can get you in trouble, so I tried to focus on what was ahead of me now because, if I can't get Double-A hitters out, I'm not going to get big league hitters out."
That was part of the problem for the 24-year-old sinkerball pitcher early in the season. Jenkins went 4-8, 5.36 in 16 starts before the all-star break. However, in 10 starts before his promotion to the big leagues he went 3-3, 3.84. During his struggles, there were times that Jenkins felt that he was being "singled to death" in some of his outings.
"With a guy who hunts for contact, being singled to death means he was off in location," Fisher Cats manager Sal Fasano said, "When guys keep hitting the 5-6 hole, the 3-4 hole, he's just slightly off on the plate. When the sinkerballer is right those balls are right at guys, and sure he was singled to death, but his location had to be better."
Part of the problem was mechanical. Jenkins must continue to try to stay on top of the ball instead of pushing it, which has helped.
"He takes incredible care of himself and works very hard," Fisher Cats pitching coach Tom Signore said.
Jenkins has also developed a changeup to go with his slider and sinker.
Jenkins, the 20th overall pick in 2009 out of Kennesaw State, made his major league debut on Aug. 7, pitched three scoreless innings and allowed two hits and no walks against the Rays. He became the 31st pitcher used this season by the Blue Jays, a club record.
• Toronto traded righthander Kevin Comer to the Astros to complete the 10-player deal that brought J.A. Happ, Brandon Lyon and David Carpenter to Toronto.
• The Blue Jays sent utilityman Yan Gomes down to Triple-A Las Vegas to make room for Yorvit Torrealba, whom Toronto signed to help cover for the loss of J.P. Arencibia.