The Baltimore Orioles and Manager Buck Showalter are finally making the move that fans have been calling for as the struggling Ubaldo Jimenez is being moved to the bullpen and is out of the starting rotation.
Showalter announced Tuesday while talking with reporters, that Jimenez had been informed that he was being moved to the bullpen and Miguel Gonzalez will be implanted back into the starting rotation, and should start on Sunday against the Chicago Cubs.
The move is something that has been brewing for quite a while as Jimenez, despite signing a four year, $50 million contract this offseason, has been anything but the top of the rotation arm that the Orioles were hoping they were getting in the veteran right hander.
Jimenez was on the disabled list nursing an ankle injury, but was also working on his mechanics and the team had hoped the layoff would help him get back on track, but in two starts since returning from the DL, Jimenez had allowed nine earned runs in 10 1/3 innings.
On the season, his numbers are by far the worst of any Orioles starter as he is not just the only starter with an ERA over 4.00, it is nearly at 5.00 at 4.83 in 20 starts. He is 4-9 and leads the entire American League with 66 walks allowed this season.
A roster move will not need to be made until Gonzalez is officially called up to make his start, and it is unclear if the Orioles will option a pitcher, such as Brad Brach or T.J. McFarland, or possibly option Cord Phelps since they will be playing in a National League stadium this weekend, which essentially gives you an extra bench player since there is no DH.
Rosters expand on September 1, so it will be much easier to manage keeping Jimenez in the bullpen at that point, so the Orioles will just have to work their roster for a week prior to that.
Yes, the contract the O's gave Jimenez, which was the richest free-agent contract in franchise history for a pitcher, looks bad now, but who knows, in 2015-17, Jimenez could return to form, but for now, he will have to make the adjustment to the bullpen, of which he has just one career relief appearance in the big leagues.
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