Baltimore Orioles: Looking at the Ubaldo Jimenez Deal

What many Baltimore Orioles fans believed to be the impossible is apparently on the verge of coming true. Ubaldo Jimenez is reported by multiple sources to being signed to a four-year deal of $48-50 million, pending the obligatory physical. Preconceived notions lie shattered on the floor like a broken shelf of display china… that Duquette and Angelos would sign a deal of this size, that the Orioles would grant a free agent contract beyond two or three years, that the Birds would give up a draft pick to make such a splash.

So, will the Orioles be definitively better off in light of this move, or may they have a massive case of buyer’s remorse? There are no guarantees, and that is what makes playing the games more interesting! But let’s jump back into the numbers again and evaluate once more what the O’s have purchased.

Certainly the Orioles desire to see the Jimenez of 2013, and not the 2012 version. Just last year he was 13-9 with a 3.30 ERA over 32 games and 182.2 innings pitched for the Indians. That is a guy the Birds need. However, in 2012 he was 9-17 with a 5.40 ERA. That is a guy the Orioles could have found in the house already for about a 95% savings.

Stepping back to the broader picture, Jimenez’ career ERA is 3.92, and over the past six seasons he has averaged 197.2 innings per year. His best year was 2010, where he was 19-8 with the Rockies with a 2.88 ERA – pretty impressive for playing in Colorado.

And looking more closely at 2013, Jimenez particularly excelled in the second half of the season. His ERA in that period was a mere 1.82, while hitters managed an average of just .219.  This is the part of the story – the most recent record of performance – that I find most encouraging and hopeful for continued success. He’ll have the renewed energy of a new franchise, a great clubhouse and atmosphere, and an incredible defense behind him. The Orioles can hit and score some runs as well!

However, with the outcry around the Oriole-land of needing starters to go deeper into games, Jimenez averaged 5.71 innings per start in 2013. By comparison, Chris Tillman was 6.25, Wei-Yin Chen was 5.96, and Miguel Gonzalez 6.07.  He does walk about four guys in nine innings, and he strikes out quite a few also – both traits certainly driving up the pitch counts. Maybe “fresh eyes” can squeeze another inning per start out of this guy!

Here are his career stats (from Baseball-Reference.com)…

Year

Age

Tm

Lg

W

L

ERA

G

IP

H

R

ER

HR

BB

IBB

SO

WHIP

H/9

HR/9

BB/9

SO/9

SO/BB

2006

22

COL NL

0

0

3.52

2

7.2

5

4

3

1

3

0

3

1.043

5.9

1.2

3.5

3.5

1.00

2007

23

COL NL

4

4

4.28

15

82.0

70

46

39

10

37

4

68

1.305

7.7

1.1

4.1

7.5

1.84

2008

24

COL NL

12

12

3.99

34

198.2

182

97

88

11

103

4

172

1.435

8.2

0.5

4.7

7.8

1.67

2009

25

COL NL

15

12

3.47

33

218.0

183

87

84

13

85

6

198

1.229

7.6

0.5

3.5

8.2

2.33

2010

26

COL NL

19

8

2.88

33

221.2

164

73

71

10

92

7

214

1.155

6.7

0.4

3.7

8.7

2.33

2011

27

TOT MLB

10

13

4.68

32

188.1

186

111

98

17

78

5

180

1.402

8.9

0.8

3.7

8.6

2.31

2011

27

COL NL

6

9

4.46

21

123.0

118

68

61

10

51

5

118

1.374

8.6

0.7

3.7

8.6

2.31

2011

27

CLE AL

4

4

5.10

11

65.1

68

43

37

7

27

0

62

1.454

9.4

1.0

3.7

8.5

2.30

2012

28

CLE AL

9

17

5.40

31

176.2

190

116

106

25

95

3

143

1.613

9.7

1.3

4.8

7.3

1.51

2013

29

CLE AL

13

9

3.30

32

182.2

163

75

67

16

80

0

194

1.330

8.0

0.8

3.9

9.6

2.43

8 Yrs

82

75

3.92

212

1275.2

1143

609

556

103

573

29

1172

1.345

8.1

0.7

4.0

8.3

2.05

 

Topics: Baltimore Orioles, Ubaldo Jimenez

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2 Comments on Baltimore Orioles: Looking at the Ubaldo Jimenez Deal

  1. John says:

    Well, my first inclination was to check to calendar to see if it was April fool’s day – and it’s not!

    IF this is true, I am very pleased and give kudos to the Oriole nation who let O’s management they couldn’t expect to win without a front line starter.

    Fingers crossed…..

    • Randy Buchman says:

      You’re too funny! Yes, fingers crossed .. and honestly, the more I think about it, the more concerned I am, with the deep counts and fouled-off pitch after pitch in the AL East. But I hope he’s a beast!

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