Right-handed pitcher Bobby Jenks' career with the Chicago White Sox might be over.
The team's closer since July 2005 pulled his right calf muscle in pregame drills on Tuesday, likely ending his season. Jenks originally injured the calf in Seattle on the team's last road trip. However, with the help of the White Sox training staff, the pitcher was able to continue to compete until Tuesday's injury.
"I am most likely done for the year," Jenks said. "Today, during the stretch and warmups, I went a little overboard and did a little too much. I completely pulled it."
Jenks, who is making more than $5 million this season, is eligible for arbitration again next year, when he'll probably receive somewhere between $7 and $8 million. It's very possible, due to payroll constraints, that the White Sox will trade Jenks and insert left-handed set-up man Matt Thornton into the closer's role for 2010.
Asked about the possibility that he's thrown his last pitch for the White Sox, Jenks said: "There's always going to be another team out there looking for pitching. It would be very unfortunate. I love it here, and I'd like to stay. But, it's a part of the game."
Jenks is 3-4 with a 3.71 ERA and 29 saves in 53 1/3 innings pitched this season.
Jenks was on the mound in October 2005 when the White Sox won their first World Series in 88 years. White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko was asked what effect it would have on the team if Jenks was traded in the offseason.
"If you ever want to have a great team, you have to have a great closer," Konerko said. "Bobby's a great closer. If he's not here, I hope whoever replaces him will be a great closer as well. I've only won one World Series, and I've been on a couple of other playoff teams. The one thing I know is, you don't win a World Series without a money closer, and Bobby's always been that. That's my take on it."
Bruce Levine covers baseball for ESPNChicago.com.