It ain’t pretty.
The numbers of Ubaldo Jimenez, that is: 52 baserunners allowed in 27 1/3-innings. Only 21 strikeouts to pair with a 6.59 ERA. And, oh yea, no wins.
Jimenez’s start to the 2014 season has been disappointing at-best, catastrophic at-worst. Perhaps the silver-lining lies in the numbers, dating back to his days in Colorado and Cleveland.
Believe it or not, this season’s horrendous start isn’t the worst of Jimenez’s career. In 2011, his ERA was at 6.75 through the month of April; and in 2009, his ERA ballooned to an abysmal 7.58 through the first two calendar months of the season.
Things will get better, right? Well, maybe.
Jimenez’s track record for the majority of his career proves that he basically takes a sabbatical from success during the months of March and April–with the exception of his 5-0 start in 2010–a season where he finished third in voting for the Cy Young Award.
By-and-large, Jimenez gets better. Except for when he doesn’t.
A deep-dive in his statistics will show that, while he improves beyond April, he has shown signs of struggling in the midst of summer. During the aforementioned 2010 campaign, Jimenez had an ERA upwards of six during the month of July–much of the damage being done due to a lack of command where he pitched behind in many counts. By most accounts, it was this mid-season hiccup and a pedestrian finish that cost him the Cy Young Award.
Looking a little further, you’ll find that the amount of base-runners Jimenez allows begins to trend upward later in the season, leaving it open to speculate that his already questionable velocity starts to dip after tossing a couple-hundred innings.
Considering that he’s a pitch-to-contact type of hurler, it’s easy to see that when Jimenez can’t command his own movement–which can be as good as anyone’s in the game at times–he can’t effectively record outs and accumulate clean, low-pitch innings.
Some will look at Jimenez’s numbers and ascertain that he’s pretty much all-over-the-board, with the only consistent and reliable trend being the fact that he’ll be better in May than he was in April.
It would be an understatement to say that Baltimore Nation certainly hopes so.
Looking at his career, it ain’t pretty; but it should get better, at least for a little while.