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Angels vs. Chicago | WHITE SOX REPORT

Garland Concerned With Layoff

October 14, 2005|Steve Henson | Times Staff Writer

Most people who take two weeks off work are better for the break, coming back refreshed and ready. Jon Garland isn't so sure.

The Chicago White Sox right-hander last pitched Oct. 1 in a regular-season game against Cleveland. He wasn't needed during a sweep of the Boston Red Sox in the American League division series.

"Hopefully it doesn't make me too strong," he said. "With me it seems sometimes my sinker is better when I'm tired. A long layoff and not being on the mound takes away from the movement of the ball."

Manager Ozzie Guillen has the same concerns. In fact he has given a lot of thought to Garland's long layoff.

"It's one of the biggest reasons we moved him from Game 4 to Game 3, because I don't want him to have another day off," Guillen said. "I think about it a lot. This kid, he might be a little rough."

Garland, 26, had a breakout season, going 18-10 and making the All-Star team for the first time in his six seasons. But he won only one of his last nine starts and was shelled by the Angels on Sept. 10, giving up seven earned runs in six innings.

The Angels also beat him May 23, ending his career-high 10-game winning streak that stretched over two seasons. Garland grew up in Granada Hills, but there is nothing special to him about pitching close to home.

"I just want to pitch, I don't care where it's at," he said. "I've just been real anxious to get on the mound."

*

White Sox rookie Bobby Jenks has gone from huge disappointment to potential embarrassment.

For the Angels.

They gave up on the right-hander with the 100-mph fastball after the 2004 season, his fifth with the Angels. Less than a year later he is the White Sox closer, thrust into the role Sept. 20 by Guillen because Dustin Hermanson has been bothered by a sore back. Jenks saved two games against the Red Sox in the ALDS.

Jenks was beset by problems of many stripes -- arm, weight and personal -- with the Angels. He spent four seasons in the double-A Texas League, creating the impression he wasn't improving. He said that wasn't the case.

"I had lots of ups and downs," he said. "But for the first two years [in double-A], I was the youngest guy on the team. I always felt that when I got everything together, I'd be here."

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