Ubaldo Jimenez Moved to BullpenPosted on August 19, 2014 by Ethan Felderstein
Exactly six months ago today, the Orioles announced that they signed Ubaldo Jimenez to a $50 million dollar contract in hopes that he would bolster the starting rotation. Today, Orioles manager Buck Showalter kicked him out of it.
"After today, he's [Jimenez] probably available in the bullpen," Showalter told the media in Chicago. "We'll see where it takes us as we go forward, where the need might be. If somebody might need an extra day or something. It depends who we send out to make room for Gonzo."
Jimenez is 4-9 on the year with a 4.83 over 110.0 innings pitched. He just recently came off the disable list after spraining his ankle.
He has only made one start out of the bullpen in his career, which came in his major league debut on September 26, 2006 as a member of the Colorado Rockies versus the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The move to the bullpen will hopefully strengthen Jimenez's command, something that he has struggled with all year, as he currently leads the American League in walks. It is still unclear what his role in the bullpen will be, whether it's a long-relief role or a middle relief role.
Though the logical move for a starter in the bullpen would be long-relief, middle relief might make the most sense with Jimenez. He has held batters to a .170 batting average with 2 outs and runners in scoring position (in 47 at-bats). Batters have a .282 batting average off Jimenez in inning four through six.
Gonzalez will take Jimenez's spot in the starting rotation and will start Sunday against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.