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1/22/1984 (33 y, 2 m, 6 d)
$50M / 4 Years (2014 - 2017)
Jimenez dished four innings, allowing four runs on five hits and three walks while striking out five Blue Jays in Tuesday's Grapefruit League game. (3/24/2017)
Remembering April's Pitching Standouts
Paul Sporer (RotoGraphs)
The Orioles Don't Care About Our Expectations
Mike Petriello (FanGraphs)
A Somewhat Unnecessary Examination of K-BB% Splits
Brett Talley (RotoGraphs)
Looking At Strikeout Rate Changes After 70 Batters»
Blake Murphy (RotoGraphs)
Briefly Considered: Ubaldo Jimenez at Different Ve»
Carson Cistulli (FanGraphs)
(Click Year to Expand /
Year in Review:
Jimenez stepped into ace-hood last year and it should stick because the change was all organic. He simply improved marginally in multiple categories while shifting his repertoire towards his best pitches. Easy, right? Jimenez made it look easy by upping his strikeout rate above eight per nine for the first time (8.17 K/9), dropping his walk rate to a career low (3.51 BB/9), all while retaining his plus home-run rate (0.54 in 2009, 0.62 career). His luck stats were fine (.290 BABIP and 73.5% strand rate). He's still inducing ground balls (52.1% career) that are not line drives (18.3% career) and his FIP was a solid 3.36. One small change in Jimenez’ arsenal was using the slider a little more (17.8% in 2009, 14.1% career, +21.7 runs career) and his fastball a little less (62.7% in 2009, 65.9% career, +9.8 runs career). A good idea, since that slider is a great pitch.
The Year Ahead:
While many projection systems will call for regression in Jimenez' numbers next year, many projection systems also have trouble with breakout seasons. They naturally weight career norms over new levels, in an effort to iron out luck effects. But the Rockies' ace wasn't really benefitting from luck last year. With a ground-ball/strikeout arsenal like his, it doesn't matter what ballpark you call home or really how lucky you are getting. He certainly had a second half for the ages last year, with a 3.08 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 97 strikeouts and a 9-3 record. Upside like that is worth chasing, especially if he somehow lasts more than five rounds in your next draft. (Eno Sarris)
For Ubaldo and his owners, 2010 was a wild and crazy ride. In April and May, he had an ERA below 1.00 in just over 80 innings of work. In that time frame, he gave up only one homer, struck out 70 batters, walked 26, and had a high GB% to boot. Most of his success was due to a pretty extreme BABIP and LOB%. For the rest of his season, Ubaldo was a bit of a roller coaster, losing his control at times while getting unlucky during others. The past is the past, so what can we expect from Ubaldo in the future? Innings, loads of them. He’ll also contribute 200 strikeouts to your team, with an ERA floating around the 3.20 mark. He has some of the best pure stuff in the game, and if he can make small improvements to his command, he’d easily be the best pitcher in baseball. Ubaldo’s worth an early pick in 2011, but don’t get carried away. (Zach Sanders)
The Quick Opinion:
Ubaldo's 2010 was pretty magical, especially if you traded him away when his value was highest. His 2011 won't be as special, but he's still a top-flight starter.
A cursory glance at Ubaldo Jimenez’s stats and you might think he’s washed up, but despite his rather unseemly 5.10 ERA with the Indians, it’s pretty remarkable how consistent his performance has been over the last three seasons. Looking at his xFIP, he has registered at 3.59, 3.60, and 3.71 from 2009-2011. His strikeout rate in the same time span is 8.17, 8.69, and 8.60. His walk rate in the same period is 3.51, 3.74, and 3.73. The major problem in 2011 was a .314 batting average on balls in play (career .286), a miserable strand rate of 65% and a home run per fly ball rate of 9.3% (career 7.7%). One big concern is his fastball, which was down in velocity by about 2.5 MPH versus 2010, and his swinging strike rate fell to a career low 7.5%. Jimenez turns 28 in January, and it’s probably worth monitoring his fastball velocity in Spring to see if it’s any worse than it was at the end of 2011. But Jimenez is a very good pitcher, still capable of racking up big strikeouts and his ERA should trend down towards something in the 3.50 range. (Michael Barr)
The Quick Opinion:
Jimenez pitched far better than his 2011 ERA and record suggests, but monitor his fastball velocity in case you can sniff out an injury. His price tag should be low and he could be a great source of cheap strikeouts.
In 2011, even as he seemingly struggled mightily, Jimenez posted a 3.67 FIP which was right in line with what he had done previous years. But in 2012, the bottom fell out. His strikeouts fell dramatically and his walks jumped even more. The guy who used a high ground ball rate to avoid homers in Colorado's thin air started giving up fly balls left and right, and the home runs spiked, as a result. His velocity has been down, but his control is the bigger issue. The ball is staying up and is not staying in the zone, and that is a bad combo. He'll get drafted in most leagues, and at the right price, you could take a shot -- but that price is a late draft pick or a couple dollars at auction, and not much more. (
The Quick Opinion:
Velocity is down, the ball is up, and the control is gone. But 2011 wasn't as bad as it seemed, and the question you have to ask is if 2012 was the end or an aberration. I'm willing to take a flyer on it being the latter.
In 2010, I mocked a fellow fantasy owner for overvaluing Ubaldo Jimenez. The looked like a well-deserved mocking when Jimenez's value fell off a cliff in 2011 and 2012. 2011 seemed like it might have been more bad luck (his FIP was still solid) than anything, but 2012 was a disaster. His strikeouts dropped, his walks spiked, he spent his first full season outside Coors Field and his home run per fly ball rate went up to a new career high. Then, in 2013, the pitcher who had always been fastball-forward decreased the usage on that pitch and his curveball and put more focus on his slider and his new splitter. His swinging strike rate rebounded as did the strikeouts, and by the second half of the year, Ubaldo was the ace the Indians gave up so much to acquire. There will be concerns about his future going forward, as their should be, but there is nothing in his 2013 that looks unrepeatable or concerning. The biggest question I have is where he'll land. He needs to keep the ball in the park to limit the damage from his still-high walk rates, and a good pitching coach who can help keep his mechanics in-line likely wouldn't hurt either. Regardless, the Big U may not be the guy he was at his peak, but he is an extremely talented pitcher and well worth your focus in fantasy. (
The Quick Opinion:
The 2013 resurgence from Ubaldo Jimenez comes from a shift in pitch usage, increased control, and a decreasing home run per fly ball rate, all of which look like potentially sustainable improvements. He is probably never going to relive the heady days of 2010, but to be a valuable fantasy asset, he doesn't have to.
In 2013, Jimenez briefly rekindled hopes that he hadn’t completely lost the all-star touch of his Rockies heyday, compiling 3.3 wins above replacement and pitching well enough to convince the Orioles to hand him a four-year, $50 million contract over the offseason. By August, he had been
demoted to the bullpen
. Think the Orioles regret that signing? Jimenez’s control, which has always been an issue for him, completely went off the rails in 2014, as his walk rate soared to 13.9%, highest among hurlers who pitched at least 120 innings. Meanwhile, his four-seam fastball’s average velocity lost nearly a mile and a half from 2013, and his swinging strike rate plunged two full percentage points, all of which contributed to a plunge in his strikeout rate. And judging by his FIP, xFIP and SIERA, Jimenez deserved every bit of his 4.81 ERA. Jimenez, 31, still managed to punch out hitters at an above-average rate in 2014, and he had cratered similarly in 2012 before his solid 2013 campaign. But his role in Baltimore is unclear given the team’s crowded rotation, and fantasy owners should rightly be frightened by his inconsistency. (
Karl de Vries
The Quick Opinion:
Jimenez’s fantasy value rests on the extent to which he can generate strikeouts, and if the velocity drop and subsequent decrease in his ability to miss bats are real, the Dominican is no more than a deep mixed-league option for 2015.
Ubaldo Jimenez's second campaign with the Orioles went much better than his first, as he made 32 starts last year and managed a 4.11 ERA, good for a 101 park and league adjusted ERA. To put that in perspective, he has only bested that mark once (115, 2013) since '10: his last full year with Colorado, when he finished third in Cy Young voting. Even if he is no longer the pitcher he once was, Ubaldo proved that he can still provide value in the Baltimore rotation. The Dominican native posted a walk rate (3.33 walks per nine) well below his career mark (4.08) while his 8.22 strikeouts per nine were right in line with his career numbers, resulting in the best strikeout per walk rate (2.47) he has ever managed. That by no means makes Jimenez a control artist, but bringing his free passes down clearly paid immediate dividends. Additionally, his .309 batting average on balls in play last year was well above his career norm (.294) and even the mark in his troublesome '14 campaign (.289), which suggests he did not exactly luck his way into preventing runs. As for next year, the 32-year-old Jimenez will anchor the Baltimore rotation with his good-not-great strikeout rate and seemingly improved control. Fantasy owners should expect plenty of innings and not too much upside, but he definitely still has the potential to contribute in deeper formats. (Dylan Higgins)
The Quick Opinion:
Although he did not come close to returning to his old self, Jimenez still bounced back a bit last year with improved control and resulting improved run prevention. The veteran is unlikely to ever become an ace again, but his durability means he can pile up some wins and strikeouts with moderate ratios as a later-round pick.
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Updated: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 3:36 AM ET
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