2015 Orioles preview: Ubaldo Jimenez

March 29, 2015 | Luke Jones

With Opening Day just a week away, we’ll take a look at a member of the 2015 Orioles every day as they try to defend their American League East title this season.

March 9 – Adam Jones
March 10 – Chris Tillman
March 11 – J.J. Hardy
March 12 – Zach Britton
March 13 – Chris Davis
March 14 – Wei-Yin Chen
March 15 – Jonathan Schoop
March 16 – Travis Snider
March 17 – Kevin Gausman
March 18 – Alejandro De Aza
March 19 – Tommy Hunter
March 20 – Manny Machado
March 21 – Brad Brach
March 22 – Steve Pearce
March 23 – Darren O’Day
March 24 – Caleb Joseph
March 25 – Wesley Wright
March 26 – Delmon Young
March 27 – Miguel Gonzalez
March 28 – Ryan Flaherty

RHP Ubaldo Jimenez

Opening Day age: 31

Contract status: Under contract through the 2017 season

Minor-league options remaining: None

2014 stats: 6-9, 4.81 ERA, 1.52 WHIP, 8.3 K/IP, 14 HR, 125 1/3 innings

Why to be impressed: Despite a disastrous first year in Baltimore, Jimenez has four seasons in which he’s posted an ERA below 4.00 in his major league career. His 8.3 strikeouts per nine innings last season was still the best mark among any Baltimore starters as Jimenez has an ability to miss bats that can be valuable if his control improves in 2015.

Why to be concerned: Even if Jimenez can improve on his horrific 5.5 walks per nine innings from a year ago, throwing strikes consistently has been a point of contention throughout his career as he’s averaged 4.2 free passes per nine innings. The right-hander is owed just under $39 million for the next three years, which means he’ll likely have a long leash again this season as he did in 2014.

2015 outlook: Mechanical adjustments have led to improvement this spring as Jimenez has allowed only two walks in his last 19 spring innings with all of that work coming in road games against the opposition’s best lineups. Jimenez will be better than he was last year, but his history of command issues are likely to surface again, keeping his ERA in the 4.50 range and the Orioles looking to replace him in the rotation for the stretch run.