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Fangraphs: Ubaldo Jimenez Proving his Worth


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http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/ubaldo-jimenez-proving-his-worth/

Heading into this season, not unlike most seasons over the past few years, not much was expected out of the Baltimore Orioles from the statistics-based community at FanGraphs. Despite winning at least 85 games in each of the past three seasons with two playoff berths and the division title in 2014, just seven of the 38 FanGraphs writers surveyed before the season expected the Orioles to make the playoffs. The projections pegged the Orioles for 79 wins and gave them just a 16% chance of making the playoffs. The offense figured to be led by Adam Jones, Chris Davis, and emerging star Manny Machado providing great production at the plate and in the field, but the pitching had some question marks with no starter projected to record an ERA or FIP below four. While Jones, Davis, and Machado pacing the offense, there are still questions about the pitching staff, but Ubaldo Jimenez has returned from a terrible 2014 to provide stability for an Orioles team once again in first place in the American League East.
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That was a nice analysis. This Ubaldo is a huge pickup given the starts for Tillman and Norris.

It appears the Os were wise to wait out Ubaldo's poor 2014 and get him into the 2015 rotation.

I also credit Ubaldo, himself, for accepting help with his mechanics and accepting his 2014 demotion with grace and with accepting a role in the post-season mainly as the chief cheerleader. Plus I credit his working throughout the off-season and through ST. The results of the work he put in can now be seen. I still see Ubaldo on TV as one of the main dugout cheerleaders when he's not pitching. A great team guy. Perhaps DD knew things that most of us did not know about him.

The Grand Poobah of the Ubaldo Jimenez Fan Club :smile11::clap:

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Jimenez and Tillman had good starts but let's remember we were playing the Indians here guys...

Who spanked the Rays and their great pitching 7-1 after they left us...

This is some national agenda. Not a factual argument.

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and his 7% walk rate is better than even any half-season in his entire career.

That is truly amazing.

Jimenez has a much lower walk rate in 2015, but he is not throwing more pitches in the strike zone. Last season, Jimenez’s zone rate was 48%, but it is actually down to 46% this season. His first-strike percentage has increased by 5% over last season and is up to nearly 51% of plate appearances against. Throwing his sinker with a more consistent location has helped him, especially early in counts. Last season, Jimenez threw 232 first-pitch sinkers, and the pitch was a ball 44% of the time and was swung on 16% of the time, per Brooks Baseball. This season, he has started hitters off with a sinker nearly 50% of the time and the pitch has been a ball just 37% of the time with more than 21% swings.

I love Fangraphs.

The sinker does not generate very many swings and misses, but it can fool hitters, as it did against David Murphy. (Come for the sinker, stay for the umpire leg kick)

I really love Fangraphs.

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Jimenez and Tillman had good starts but let's remember we were playing the Indians here guys...

Yeah, the Indians who put up a 7 in Tampa last night. Who had one of the league's hottest hitters in Jason Kipnis coming into town.

Jimenez, and Tillman, pitched great. Indians are a middle of the road offense.

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Yeah, the Indians who put up a 7 in Tampa last night. Who had one of the league's hottest hitters in Jason Kipnis coming into town.

Jimenez, and Tillman, pitched great. Indians are a middle of the road offense.

23rd out of 30 in runs scored, that road has a pretty big middle. ;)

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Sort of what I expected...Ubaldo will be very average to bad for half of his contract, and then anywhere from good to great for the other half...

I was the dude who said I wouldn't be happy unless the O's signed him, with the knowledge that he will not likely be awesome every year, but that at some point he will give us a dominant run...I am hoping that this continues and we get a dominant run out of him...

Seems like this week delivers quite the blow to the "don't sign big name pitchers, grow the arms" crowd...

I personally would like to see the Orioles be buyers at the trade deadline and get a Cole Hamels (although I hate that guy's personality and he could be a problem in an otherwise great clubhouse) or maybe another guy at his level with a better attitude...

Sometimes, IMO as I have stated before, prospects deliver the most value to a ball club via their expectations and projections...even if they end up doing well in other places. Big time (especially pitching) prospects rarely pan out to become perennial all-stars when you look at the number of successes vs. failures...

More often than not (at least for me), it's better to trade a "maybe" for a "proven" than avoid the "provens" because the "maybe" has so much "maybe"...

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Sort of what I expected...Ubaldo will be very average to bad for half of his contract, and then anywhere from good to great for the other half...

I was the dude who said I wouldn't be happy unless the O's signed him, with the knowledge that he will not likely be awesome every year, but that at some point he will give us a dominant run...I am hoping that this continues and we get a dominant run out of him...

Seems like this week delivers quite the blow to the "don't sign big name pitchers, grow the arms" crowd...

I personally would like to see the Orioles be buyers at the trade deadline and get a Cole Hamels (although I hate that guy's personality and he could be a problem in an otherwise great clubhouse) or maybe another guy at his level with a better attitude...

Sometimes, IMO as I have stated before, prospects deliver the most value to a ball club via their expectations and projections...even if they end up doing well in other places. Big time (especially pitching) prospects rarely pan out to become perennial all-stars when you look at the number of successes vs. failures...

More often than not (at least for me), it's better to trade a "maybe" for a "proven" than avoid the "provens" because the "maybe" has so much "maybe"...

I may be wrong; I'm not a pitching coach, just a fan. But I believe that Ubaldo will be much more consistent in the future. He got some advice from some folks who really are pitching coaches: Wallace, Chiti, and R. Martinez. They instituted changes in his mechanics that have allowed him to gain fastball command and greatly lessen the walks he used to give up. Having gained command of his fastball, he can use his other pitches to get batters out (along with the newly-commanded fastball). In the past, Ubaldo had acquired some very bad habits. When the bad habits finally made his performance get so bad that his manager had to take him out of the rotation, that's when Ubaldo had to learn how to pitch with control. The results can be seen this year.
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