The Baltimore Orioles might be nearing a point where they can’t justify sending RHP Ubaldo Jimenez out as a starter in games an longer.
You have to wonder what the Baltimore Orioles are going to do with RHP Ubaldo Jimenez. To be blunt, he was “boat raced” again yesterday afternoon in Cleveland. Jimenez’s line: 1.2 IP, 5 H, 6 R (3 earned), 3 BB, 1 K. That’s not going to win you many games, nor is it going to win you many friends in the ‘pen.
Jimenez gave up four runs in the first inning, although that was helped by an Alvarez two-run error at third base. The O’s once again committed four errors in this game, which of course is an oddity. Napoli’s RBI-single in the second reiterated just how much Jimenez was struggling. To add insult to injury, Uribe knotched an RBI-single after Jimenez had left the game – on a softly hit, blooper.
The O’s got on the board in the fifth with Adam Jones‘ sac fly-RBI. When you’re trailing 7-0, you’ll take runs however you can get them. After Cleveland knotched an eighth run on an RBI-single from Gomes, Matt Wieters knotched an RBI-double in the sixth. Jones added an additional RBI-double in the seventh, and Machado plated a run with a double-play. This brought the Birds to within 8-4.
Call to the Pen
However Cleveland wasn’t going to be denied on this day. They would plate three more runs on Oriole pitching before the day was done, and following a 22-minute rain delay they ended up “boat racing” the O’s and IUbaldo Jimenez 11-4. The good news for the O’s as a team is that they have a shot at taking the series this afternoon…
…but the bad news is that they might have reached a point of no return with Jimenez. After the game Jimenez gave a fairly nebulous quote which in a way could be interpreted as confidence moving forward (quote courtesy of Shane Jackson, MLB.com):
"That’s the thing about baseball. When things are going bad, everything falls apart. Whatever you do out there just doesn’t go your way. But things change, and I have a feeling things are going to change."
I say that’s a nebulous quote in a sense because one could look at it and assume that Jimenez is going to work hard to right his command and be better by his next start. However he also might be referring to the fact that he understands that the Orioles have to do something with him at this point. Something is going to have to change one way or the other.
I’ve said this before, but I’m going to say it again based on the number of tweets I get saying that the Orioles should just cut him. Ubaldo Jimenez is owed approximately $13 million plus – and that’s whether he ever sees the mound again. The Orioles can’t just cut/DFA him, because that money will still go to Jimenez whether he’s on the roster or not. Furthermore any other team could pick him up – at the Orioles’ expense.
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As much as Toronto seems to love picking up whomever the Orioles release, do fans really want the Birds paying a player to play against them in the AL East? It’s easy enough to say that he’s not going to be any help to anyone and so forth, but I suspect most people know that’s not necessarily true. But in a business sense it makes no sense to pay a guy to play for someone else. So once again, let’s just assume that’s not an option for the moment.
I suspect that Jimenez is either going to come in today or tomorrow feeling pain in his shoulder, elbow, lateral muscle, etc, or he’s probably going to the bullpen. Vance Worley picked up the slack for Jimenez rather well yesterday afternoon, so I suspect he’d be a prime candidate to replace Jimenez in the rotation. Mind you, that’s just a prediction on my part. For all I know he’s staying in the rotation.
However if in fact Jimenez has an injury, you might see the O’s send Yovani Gallardo on a very quick rehab assignment so as to replace Jimenez on the roster. It wouldn’t be prior to his next turn in the rotation, but it could certainly be prior to the one following that. Again, just a prediction.
As I said, the O’s have a shot at taking the series this afternoon at Progressive Field. Chris Tillman will be on the mound for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by rookie Mike Clevinger. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.