Baltimore Orioles: Ubaldo Jimenez, Now We Love You!


Apr 11, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez (31) throws a pitch in the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

You could forgive Baltimore Orioles pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez if he feels a bit schizophrenic. After hearing a tremendous amount of criticism from O’s fans last year (including those on this blog), he comes back with a more compact delivery here in early 2015, and now we love him!

There is the old story of the person in love who is uncertain if it will be reciprocated, and there is the exercise of pulling the petals off a flower while saying, “She loves me, she loves me not.” Maybe Ubaldo is saying that about O’s fans; and if in his native tongue, he could maybe be heard mumbling “Me quiere… no me quiere, Me ama… no me ama.”

Hey, it is easy to love someone who pitches seven scoreless innings, giving up only one hit and one walk, along with recording eight strikeouts. Heck, I’d even love Ryan Flaherty if he did something like that!

Seriously, it is great to see. Especially with Bud Norris significantly scuffling. It is a relief to see what is honestly a pleasant surprise, as Jimenez is exhibiting good pitch command. As always, UJ’s stuff is simply stellar. The movement is amazing. His final pitch of the night (#96) left Josh Donaldson looking back at the ump … as if it was the umpire’s fault. No, it was simply a great pitch that tailed back over the outside of the plate.

Of course, there was one Ubaldo Jimenez pitch thrown behind the batter, just as a reminder that it is the same guy.

As I’ve written a number of times, I expect there will be seasons of time like this with Ubaldo, and other stretches where it will look more like last year. Hopefully the former will outnumber the latter. And hopefully this will be true because of some good instruction from several of the Orioles’ personnel.

Another guy who we can love a lot right now is Jonathan Schoop. Here’s another player who is likely to have some ups and downs. But the talent ceiling is very high for the young man.

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Schoop hit a grand slam on Saturday night to break open the game – extending it from 3-0 to 7-0. It would be interesting to hear the speed of the ball off the bat and the time it took to clear the field. Totally smoked!

Schoop is now 4-for-14 on the season with two home runs and five driven in.

All in all, it was good to see the real Baltimore Orioles on the field Saturday night, defeating the Jays 7-1.

Next: Buck Showalter - Prophet