Buck Showalter announced Tuesday afternoon, that Ubaldo Jimenez will be moved to the bullpen for the remainder of the season. The O’s inked Jimenez in the offseason to a hefty four year, $50 million deal. He was originally slated to be the number two starter, behind Chris Tillman, and provide a veteran presence in an inexperienced rotation.
Unfortunately for the Birds, he has not lived up to these expectations, and has struggled so far this year, leading the AL with 66 walks. Jimenez was placed on the DL on July 11 with a sprained right ankle. Since his return, he’s has posted 7.48 ERA.
Over the past few years, the Orioles have had great successes in moving their struggling starters to the pen. Look no further than Tommy Hunter and Zach Britton, who are both having terrific years. My hope is that Jimenez can find his control and become an effective long or middle reliever in the O’s pennant chase.
With the move to the bullpen, Jimenez will be able to work through his issues.
Miguel Gonzalez will return to the rotation Sunday afternoon on the Northside of Chicago, and replace Jimenez. Gonzalez looks to return strong after being sent down to the minors on Jimenez’s return.
Jimenez had a side session today and will be available in the bullpen shortly. With the rotation pitching so well since the beginning of June, Gonzalez can continue where he left, and provide some wins to keep the O’s atop the division.