Following yesterday’s news that Ubaldo Jimenez will be moved to the bullpen, Orioles fans are probably asking themselves several questions at this point. I’m here to answer one of those for you.
This move wasn’t so hard for the Orioles to make due to the fact that the roster expands to 40 for the month of September. However, as September winds down, The Orioles will have a problem on their hands, and it’s not necessarily a good one.
The reason being that the Orioles signed Jimenez to a four-year deal worth $50 million in the offseason. It looks a little foolish putting him in the bullpen in the first year of that big contract, doesn’t it? However, this can also be considered a good problem in that the Orioles have too much depth at the position to make room for Jimenez.
Putting that aside, let’s get back to the original question: Will Jimenez make the playoff roster?
One thing I will tell you is that there is a 99 percent chance that he won’t make the roster as a starting pitcher. However, making the roster as a relief pitcher is certainly a possibility, though not definitive. The reason it’s not definitive is because the Orioles have a lot of depth in the bullpen that they are going to be hesitant to leave off the postseason roster.
We all know about the tandem of Andrew Miller, Darren O’Day, and Zach Britton, but the O’s have some solid relief arms behind them. Brad Brach has performed very well for the Orioles this season, posting a 4-0 record with a 2.61 ERA in 29 games. He has allowed just three home runs on the year. If those are the numbers of your fourth-best reliever, then you’re in good shape.
When the team traded for Andrew Miller, most fans probably thought that fellow left-handed reliever Brian Matusz would be sent down to the minors due to his struggles, but that wasn’t the case. Matusz has stayed on the active roster and has done a decent job at times, but for the most part continues to struggle with an ERA of 4.10. There is also T.J. McFarland, but he will likely be moved down once Miguel Gonzalez returns from the disabled list.
With that being said, it looks like Jimenez will take up Matusz’ spot in the bullpen; and as for Matusz, who knows what will happen to him?
To answer the question here: yes, Jimenez will most likely make the playoff roster, but it’s almost solely due to the fact that he got such a big contract. To sign a player to a contract that large and even consider he might not be worthy of the postseason roster is pretty sad, but that’s baseball. And who knows, Jimenez has proven to be an up and down pitcher throughout his career, maybe next season will be his up year.