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Monday, August 01, 2011

Olbermann: Ubaldo: Have You Got Any More In The Back?

Olbermann, more Greenspan than Greenwade.

All of which brings us to Ubaldo Jimenez. Why wouldn’t you trade for a man who shined the way he did the first half of last year? Why, he was 15-1, and he was still 17-2 and the consensus Cy Young Winner before he got “tired.” He’s a solid citizen, and judging by that ‘bicycle license plate’ commercial, a very funny, grounded man. Heck, he’s got an Emmy Award for narrating a special for the regional cable network in Denver (I don’t have an Emmy Award). Well, in the year since he reached that 15-1 mark, he’s 10-16. And if that number is too obvious for you, let’s go back to the tip-off the Yanks evidently used on Santana. In 2010, Jimenez lasted 6.71 innings per start. This year, he’s lasted 5.86.

That number suggests if he’s not hurt, he’s going to be.

...All of this for a Jekyll-and-Hyde starter who is showing early signs that a serious injury is in his immediate future. Or, if it isn’t, that he reached a peak of efficiency last July and has been heading downhill ever since. I’m confident that this is a trade the Indians will regret next year. I think they may regret it next month.

Repoz Posted: August 01, 2011 at 06:16 PM | 12 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: indians, prospect reports, rockies, scouting, yankees

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 01, 2011 at 06:30 PM (#3890425)
Well, in the year since he reached that 15-1 mark, he’s 10-16.


Last year, the 15 starts Ubaldo made after reaching 15-1 included games where the Rockies scored 2, 0, 1, 2, 1, 2, 1 and 0 runs. That's more than half his starts in which he received 2 runs or fewer of support. In the last one, Ubaldo threw eight innings of shutout ball, but the Rockies lost 1-0 in 11 innings.

There was also the Ubaldo start where the Rockies led 5-3 with two outs in the ninth, but Clint Barmes dropped a pop-up with the bases loaded.

But Keith, why aren't you looking at his record after a Rockies' loss? I thought that was the true and revealed measure of a starting pitcher.
   2. JJ1986 Posted: August 01, 2011 at 06:42 PM (#3890436)
That 5.86 IP/GS figure includes the one inning he threw before being pulled on Saturday. Before that, he was at 6.1, 6.5 in the last two months.

The stats don't say he's about to get injured. They say he was injured at the beginning of the season.
   3. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: August 01, 2011 at 06:45 PM (#3890440)
since he was 15-1, he's pitched 217 2/3 innings with an ERA of 4.18--that's worse than the NL average over that span (which is about 3.9), but not terrible
   4. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 01, 2011 at 06:50 PM (#3890444)
The stats don't say he's about to get injured. They say he was injured at the beginning of the season.


The fact that he went on the disabled list in April with a crack in his right thumbnail also says he was injured at the beginning of the season.
   5. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 01, 2011 at 06:55 PM (#3890449)
since he was 15-1, he's pitched 217 2/3 innings with an ERA of 4.18--that's worse than the NL average over that span (which is about 3.9), but not terrible


In Coors Field, that's an ERA+ of around 110, and includes a stretch in which he was demonstrably injured.
   6. Srul Itza Posted: August 01, 2011 at 06:57 PM (#3890453)
he's pitched 217 2/3 innings with an ERA of 4.18--that's worse than the NL average over that span (which is about 3.9), but not terrible


Let's not forget where he pitches his home games. Even with the humidor, Coors still has a park factor of around 117-120.
   7. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: August 01, 2011 at 07:30 PM (#3890476)
O'Dowd's comments sure don't inspire confidence that Ubaldo *isn't* hurt.
   8. Walt Davis Posted: August 01, 2011 at 08:01 PM (#3890506)
1. Like all pitchers, Jimenez might well be one pitch from a career-altering injury. It is up to the Indians to do their best to assess his current health status as a condition of the trade.

2. Assuming options are exercised, he's signed through 2014 for 3/$18. In 2010 Jason Marquis signed for 2/$15; every year Jon Garland signs for $5-6 M. If Jimenez can give them about 350 innings of league average starting over the next 3 years, that contracts not a disaster.

3. And 2013 and 2014 are option years.* If he gets hurt this year or next, they walk away from 2013-14.

4. Of course the prospects might bust out. And yes that the Rox are willing to trade a good pitcher on an excellent contract suggests that they think he's kinda toasty.

Taking a quick peek, Jimenez to date looks a bit like Zambrano -- his 09/10 peripherals are very similar to Z at his peak. Carlos got to the point where he was getting the K/BB over 2 and had a nice low HR rate. Since then he's regressed a bit with the walk and HR rates up some (the sinker doesn't sink as well). The Rox are big on sinking fastballs (as they should be) and maybe Jimenez is still a good pitcher but the sinker ain't what it used to be. His G/F ratio is now under 1 and that's not really a recipe for success at Coors but can be fine elsewhere. (Again similar to Z)

It is of course most likely true that the Indians won't get 09-10 Jimenez. But they don't need to for this to be a good deal. And if he stays healthy, they won't have trouble trading him over the next 1+ seasons for a pretty good package.

* Checking Cots it seems he has the right to void the 2014 option "if traded." It's not clear if that means traded at any time during the contract or when he has to decide.
   9. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: August 01, 2011 at 08:16 PM (#3890521)
If Pomeranz is the PTBNL, and Jimenez gives the Indians 350 IP of league-average starting over the next 3 years, that trade is a disaster.
   10. LionoftheSenate (Brewers v A's World Series) Posted: August 01, 2011 at 08:26 PM (#3890536)
Ubaldo reminds me of other pitchers with great arms that took some time to put it all together. Roy Halladay and Curt Schilling both had some speed bumps in the early half of their careers. Ubaldo is probably fighting through more soreness than usual, thus the good/bad start pattern he has displayed.

The talent is high, there is a chance Ubaldo may settle in and become dominant in the next few years. There is also the chance he is 1 pitch away from washing out, like all other pitchers are. I'd roll the dice on Ubaldo.
   11. Sam M. Posted: August 01, 2011 at 08:27 PM (#3890539)
If Pomeranz is the PTBNL, and Jimenez gives the Indians 350 IP of league-average starting over the next 3 years, that trade is a disaster.

And if in that time the Indians manage to eke out a couple of AL Central Division titles, then what? How about if one of them happens to lead to a completely flukish appearance in the World Series?

Don't get me wrong, I think the Rockies made a great trade and the Indians gave up a king's ransom. But I can at least kind-of, sort-of see the window of opportunity the Indians might be aiming to slip through, and a title is a title is a title.
   12. OCD SS Posted: August 02, 2011 at 11:41 AM (#3890959)
Assuming options are exercised, he's signed through 2014 for 3/$18.


Since he was traded his contract allows him to void the 2014 option year.

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