Baltimore Orioles: Ubaldo Jimenez – Ace of the Staff


May 11, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez (31) pitches during the seventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Baltimore Orioles defeated Toronto Blue Jays 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Though a Baltimore Orioles fan since the mid 60s and an East Coast resident most of my life, there was a five-year period where I lived in Dallas, Texas.  I have to say that I loved those grad school years, and when anything related to Texas hits the news, it catches my ear.

It is always sad to hear of the devastation of a tornado outbreak, and indeed, one rarely experiences in the East the types of violent weather that is a regular feature of life in East Texas. I had to look up on the map exactly where Van, Texas is – the location of the horrific Sunday evening storms.

An article I read talked about how this community was a boom and bust town from a historic oilboom, and for a time it was named “Whodathoughtit.”

“Boom and bust” … “Whodathoughtit” … those are terms that could apply to the Baltimore Orioles right now.

More from Baltimore Orioles

Whodatoughtit that Ubaldo Jimenez would emerge in the early season as the essential ace of the Orioles staff? There was the difficult 2014 year of disappointment, and then also the rough first couple of starts of spring training. But right now his ERA is 2.41.

Whodatoughtit that Steve Pearce would be a regular feature at second base? And he may get to play there a lot more in the near future. It looks like Ryan Flaherty is headed back to the disabled list, with Rey Navarro being recalled again from AAA Norfolk where he had three hits on Monday night for the 18-13 Tides.

Whodatoughtit in the offseason that Jimmy Paredes would emerge in the early season as the O’s top hitter? With two more hits on Monday night he is up to .363, just ahead of the .357 of Adam Jones.

Boom and bust is also what we get with the Orioles. They follow a 16-strikeout day at the plate with three home runs and their own staff striking out 13 the next day.

More from The Baltimore Wire

And boom and bust is what I had said all along is going to be the experience with Jimenez over the four years of his contract with the Orioles. Hopefully the boom times outnumber the bust times. One would hope his more simplified mechanics will contribute to more extended periods of success. When he has some good control as he did on Monday night, he is a top-tier pitcher. His ball movement is stellar.

Boom and bust is also what the Orioles get with Chris Davis. The bust puts him in the AL/NL/MLB/Universe lead in strikeouts. The boom is what happened in his first at-bat on Monday night, totally crushing a two-run homer on top of Manny Machado’s game-opening blast. Together the three runs were enough to get the O’s and UJ on track for a 5-2 victory.

Speaking of busts, there was no boom of any sort from Jose Bautista – not with Adam Jones or Darren O’Day. Bautista pinch hit in the ninth inning, whereas O’Day pitched in the eighth frame. Though Bautista was 10-for-30 in May coming into last night’s game, that stretch has only raised his average to .217.

All in all, it is good to see the Orioles playing again at Camden Yards.

Next: When with the O's season really turn around?