Baltimore Orioles Spring Training: Six Bold Predictions

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Aug 16, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher

Ubaldo Jimenez

(31) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Ubaldo Jimenez does not sufficiently figure things out …

Wow. This is depressing. Sorry. Know that I want to be terrible wrong.

In 2014, Ubaldo Jimenez was 1-1 in spring training, with a 5.28 ERA in 15.1 innings. He walked six batters. He never really got off on a good foot.

The truth is that he is always going to walk batters. Even when he pitched at his best, he walked too many hitters. Running deep counts, Ubaldo was never an innings-eater pitcher, and from the beginning I could not understand why the O’s thought he would be that for them.

I will never again in my life hear the two words “moving parts” without thinking of Ubaldo Jimenez. Indeed, they move. At the end of last year, the parts were tightened up and re-packaged into a more “compact delivery.” There were improvements. But he still drops his arm straight down behind him (see picture), and that will not lead to consistent release points and pitch placement.

I expect a better season from Jimenez in 2015, but not a great season, nor even a good one – spring, summer, or fall. Look for the ERA to drop from 4.81 to a 4.20 to 4.30 or something of that sort. I then look for some discouragement to set in on him – a fellow who seems to me from a distance to be a bit fragile through a good-hearted desire to achieve.

And taking all the moving parts away may not bring about all the desired results. It could be a little bit like in Winnie-the-Pooh when they took away Tigger’s bounces – the result was not something that anyone liked.

So what are the Orioles going to do with him?  I don’t know; it’s a problem. Use him here and there where he can cause the least damage and get some return on the investment. I do think there will be seasons of time in the next three years where he puts together a string of a few good games.

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