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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

[Ubaldo] Jimenez to the bullpen

This always looked like a risky signing, and, well.

The Orioles have moved struggling starter Ubaldo Jimenez to the bullpen, manager Buck Showalter announced on Tuesday.

Signed to a four-year, $50 million deal this winter —the largest contact in club history for a free-agent pitcher— Jimenez has dealt with injury and ineffectiveness and gave up six earned runs over 4 1/3 innings this weekend in Cleveland. After that game, Showalter wouldn’t commit to whether Jimenez —4-9 with a 4.83 ERA— would get a chance to redeem himself, though this move seemed likely.

Particularly with right-hander Miguel Gonzalez, who will start Sunday, waiting in the wings… Gonzalez, who was optioned to the Minor Leagues to clear a roster spot for Jimenez, has pitched to a 3.80 ERA in 20 games (19 starts)...How Jimenez is used in the Orioles bullpen depends on how they clear a roster spot for Gonzalez on Sunday.

 

The District Attorney Posted: August 19, 2014 at 07:51 PM | 18 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: miguel gonzalez, orioles, ubaldo jimenez

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Ulysses S. Fairsmith Posted: August 19, 2014 at 08:30 PM (#4774944)
Jiminez is a #4 starter with two good half-seasons. Why do people expect him to be an ace?
   2. JJ1986 Posted: August 19, 2014 at 08:37 PM (#4774954)
Jimenez was really good for the first 3.5 years of his career and was good again last year. Not usually ace quality, but he's been a good #2 over long periods of time.
   3. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: August 19, 2014 at 09:24 PM (#4774979)
Jiminez is a #4 starter with two good half-seasons. Why do people expect him to be an ace?


15-1, 2.20 ERA pitching in Colorado. People don't want to dismiss that as a fluke.
   4. puck Posted: August 19, 2014 at 09:40 PM (#4774994)
His struggles after 2010 went along with drops in velocity. I wonder if he can dial it up in a 1-inning stint and whether that will be enough--he dropped from an average fastball at 96 to a max velocity in 2014 of 94.8. Plus he's never had great command.
   5. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 19, 2014 at 09:44 PM (#4775000)
Finally.
   6. Greg K Posted: August 19, 2014 at 10:06 PM (#4775027)
Jimenez is the one guy I think of when people talk about repeating mechanics. He always looks to me like his limbs are flailing about at random when he pitches.
   7. DKDC Posted: August 19, 2014 at 10:32 PM (#4775050)
Ubaldo has been awful, but I naively hold out hope that he will contribute at some point during his contract. He certainly will get more chances.
   8. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 20, 2014 at 12:38 AM (#4775098)
Finally.

Amen. Let him come in with about a 7 run lead and 1 inning to go. If Buck is worried about Gausman or Chen racking up too many innings, he can rest them and give Jiminez a few spot starts once the division is clinched.
   9. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: August 20, 2014 at 02:03 AM (#4775117)
Jimenez is terrible, but do the Orioles really have 5 guys who are better?
   10. DKDC Posted: August 20, 2014 at 08:08 AM (#4775149)
Tillman, Chen, Gausman, and Norris are all clearly better than Jimenez right now.

Gonzalez is debatable - the results have been there this year, but his peripherals are a little scary. I'm willing to see if Gonzalez can continue to out pitch his peripherals rather than suffer through more Jimenez starts.

Of course, neither Jimenez nor Gonzalez will make a start in a playoff game if the Os get that far. And the truth is, Jimenez will make at least one more start because the Os play 6 games in 5 days in September, and there's a good chance he will make other starts as well given the limited off days and likelihood one of the other guys will need extra rest or get injured.
   11. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 20, 2014 at 08:13 AM (#4775152)
Ubaldo has been awful, but I naively hold out hope that he will contribute at some point during his contract. He certainly will get more chances.


But he's a #4 starter! Why would people expect him to be good enough to be one of a team's top 4 starters!
   12. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: August 20, 2014 at 09:13 AM (#4775192)
Tillman 109 ERA+
Chen 103
Norris 105
Gonzalez 102
Gausman 103
Jimenez 81

One of these things is not like the others.

In truth, Jimenez has been bad, but not awful. He's only a little below replacement level, and I'm guessing he's pretty similar to the #5 starters on a lot of teams. If the Orioles weren't contending or didn't have 5 better starters they could live with him in the rotation, but there's just no reason to keep trotting him out there.
   13. zack Posted: August 20, 2014 at 11:21 AM (#4775303)
Jiminez is a #4 starter with two good half-seasons. Why do people expect him to be an ace?

Because he was one? His first 3 full season, in Colorado, were 200, 220, 220 innings with ERA+s of 118, 136 and 161. He was 26 for that last season. What really blows my mind is that he never gave up more than 0.5 HR/9 in those 3 seasons, while pitching in Colorado. He always walked too many guys and his delivery was cringe-inducing, but it's easy to overlook that when he's pumping out 100mph fastballs. I saw him start in that 2010 season in Colorado and was giggling when he was tossing up 91mph changeups.

I wouldn't expect him to be an ace this year, but he was much better than a #4 last season.

   14. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 20, 2014 at 11:31 AM (#4775313)
Tillman 109 ERA+
Chen 103
Norris 105
Gonzalez 102
Gausman 103
Jimenez 81

One of these things is not like the others.


And if you look at those same numbers for the last two months, the contrast would be even greater.

In truth, Jimenez has been bad, but not awful. He's only a little below replacement level, and I'm guessing he's pretty similar to the #5 starters on a lot of teams. If the Orioles weren't contending or didn't have 5 better starters they could live with him in the rotation, but there's just no reason to keep trotting him out there.

And that's pretty much it. Hopefully he'll eventually be able to adjust to the AL and live up to his contract, but that can wait until Spring training.
   15. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 20, 2014 at 11:36 AM (#4775322)
Tillman, Chen, Gausman, and Norris are all clearly better than Jimenez right now.

Gonzalez is debatable - the results have been there this year, but his peripherals are a little scary. I'm willing to see if Gonzalez can continue to out pitch his peripherals rather than suffer through more Jimenez starts.


Since the beginning of July, Gonzalez's ERA has been 2.43, with 4 of 6 Game Scores in the 60's, and all but the first one against winning teams.
   16. Walt Davis Posted: August 20, 2014 at 11:22 PM (#4776031)
Tillman 109 ERA+
Chen 103
Norris 105
Gonzalez 102
Gausman 103
Jimenez 81


But ...

Tillman 4.15 FIP
Chen 4.14
Norris 4.14
Gonzalez 5.31
Gausman 3.59
Jimenez 4.89

Jimenez still not good but better than Gonzalez. The difference is partly that all of those other guys (exc Gausman) have an ERA at least .4 below their FIP with Gonzalez 1.5 runs below.

Not that FIP is gospel but it's not "one of those is not like the other" it's "three of those are exactly the same, two are a lot worse and one is a good bit better thanks to a very low HR rate." The latter was probably the least popular bit in Sesame Street history.
   17. DKDC Posted: August 20, 2014 at 11:36 PM (#4776050)
Some other ERA estimators:

xRA
Chen 4.18
Tillman 4.42
Gonzalez 4.75
Norris 4.76
Gausman 5.03
Jimenez 5.27

xFIP
Chen 3.66
Norris 4.19
Tillman 4.32
Gausman 4.38
Jimenez 4.46
Gonzalez 4.66

SIERA
Chen 3.78
Norris 4.07
Tillman 4.39
Gonzalez 4.51
Gausman 4.64
Jimenez 4.66

Jimenez may not clearly be the worst, but I think that argument's got the most support. Plus, aesthetically, all those yucky walks seal the deal.
   18. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: August 21, 2014 at 09:04 AM (#4776157)
Jimenez still not good but better than Gonzalez.

That doesn't make a lot of sense. Why is FIP the be all, end all, especially when we're comparing starters on the same team? Pitching is not independent of defense, and the Orioles' greatest strength is their team defense. Gonzalez's walk rate isn't very good, but it's far, far better than Jimenez, and a balls in play has an infinitely better chance of being converted into an out than a walk.

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