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Former Chicago White Sox closer Bobby Jenks named manager of the Windy City ThunderBolts

Bobby Jenks collected 173 saves during six seasons with the Chicago White Sox. He’s returning to the area as manager of the Windy City ThunderBolts in the independent Frontier League.

“The idea of being back in Chicago drew me to the ThunderBolts,” he said in a statement Thursday. “Having the opportunity to go back there and be around this fan base again was very appealing to me.”

Jenks earned Pioneer League Manager of the Year honors after leading the Grand Junction Rockies to the championship in 2022. He served as pitching coach for the Princeton WhistlePigs of the Appalachian League last season.

“I love baseball and I want to put a winning product on the field,” Jenks said. “I believe I can do that and my track record has shown that I can do that.”

Jenks, 42, had a 3.53 ERA in 348 career games for the White Sox (2005-10) and Boston Red Sox (2011). He recorded saves in Games 1 and 4 of the 2005 World Series when the White Sox swept the Houston Astros for their first championship since 1917.

“Putting aside his popularity on the South Side of Chicago, in three short years coaching, Bobby has shown to be a great mentor both on and off the field,” ThunderBolts general manager Mike VerSchave said in a statement.

“His experience pitching at the highest level in the highest-pressure situations will be invaluable in molding our pitching staff, and his title run in the Pioneer League shows his ability to put together a competitive team as well as run a fantastic clubhouse that will serve him well in our league.”

The ThunderBolts play at Ozinga Field in Crestwood. They went 43-52 last season under former big-league slugger Richie Sexson and finished sixth in the West Division. They open the 2024 season at home on May 9 against the Evansville Otters.

White Sox reportedly hire new bullpen coach

Matt Wise, who spent the last three seasons as the Los Angeles Angels pitching coach, reportedly will become the White Sox bullpen coach.

Wise, 46, served as the Angels bullpen coach in 2020. He became the team’s interim pitching coach before spring training in 2021 and was named the full-time pitching coach that May. The Athletic first reported his addition to the Sox staff.

Wise would replace Curt Hasler, who was offered a position in the Sox player development system.