After signing Ubaldo Jimenez to a 4 year $50 million contract in 2014, he has been nothing but mediocre. Since joining the Orioles, the starting pitcher has produced a record of 21-26. This season alone, Jimenez has posted an abysmal record of 3-7 with a 6.89 ERA on an Orioles team that has been struggling with starting pitching. Other than Chris Tillman, the other Orioles starting pitchers have not looked very impressive. Relievers Brad Brach and Mychal Givens have more wins this season than starting pitchers Kevin Gausman, Tyler Wilson, Mike Wright, and Ubaldo Jimenez do. Many were very skeptical when the Orioles first signed Jimenez because he had proven to be very inconsistent. After a very impressive 2010 campaign with the Colorado Rockies, where he threw a no-hitter and was named a MLB All-Star, Jimenez has pitched very poorly since. In his last seven starts Jimenez has not even be able to make it past the fifth inning. Jimenez posted one of his worst performances in his last outing against the Toronto Blue Jays, where he only lasted 1/3 of an inning.
Obviously it is not time to hit the panic button right now. Despite average pitching performances this year, the Orioles are still tied for first place in the AL East with the Boston Red Sox. The Orioles offense is having no problem scoring runs this season and are hitting home-runs left and right. So what can we expect the Orioles to do with this sticky situation? There is a possibility that the Orioles could cut Jimenez. He is still owed $7.89 million this year and another $13.5 million in 2017. This is a drastic move because of financial considerations, but might be the best option for the Orioles right now. Starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo is currently rehabbing for Triple A Norfolk Tides and is expected to be back fairly soon. Another option that has been reported was to move Jimenez to the bullpen. The problem with that is the Orioles best pitching this year has come from the Bullpen. If Jimenez can’t preform in the earlier innings, I would be very skeptical to put him in the later innings when the Orioles need those crucial outs. It will be interesting to see what Dan Duquette and company decide to do with Ubaldo Jimenez. In my opinion it’s time for the Orioles to start forgetting Jimenez on bus and plane rides to games. Like a bad high-school couple, it’s time for the relationship between Jimenez and the Orioles to end.